Have you ever experienced that dissonance when you’re furiously angry while trying to dampen that anger? You’ve convinced yourself, logically, that your anger is unfounded and you just need to calm down. How often does that work?
This poem was inspired in that moment of chaos (as many poems are). You’ll notice (if you stay till the end) that I’ve tried to end on a positive note. Ever the optimist!
Fascinating, yes, what a friendship can become
once firmly tested.
What words can be said, once spoken and written
impossible to retract, forever damaging and
yet enriching, enlightening.
Do you know who is a true friend,
a true companion,
an anchor, a rock, a loved one?
When you can no longer give like you used to
when your pain clouds your judgment
when silence is necessary and space, too
– you need it like the air you breathe –
the one who lets you be. The one who remembers
the sleepless nights, the pounding of your heart,
the fear you have that you can no longer provide
– for yourself and others –
as the panic and sadness overwhelms you and you think
“death would be better than this” (for the first time in your life)
the one who wordlessly stands at your back and
allows you to collapse, safely.
Fascinating, once a friendship is tested,
once boundaries are set aflame,
when a sister becomes a stranger.
Enlightening – for when was it tested before?
And then you realize, sadly,
this is the first test, and one
that she didn’t pass
– perhaps she never would have –
but it was not a waste. Love is never a waste.
He tells me about a tattoo he has,
a phoenix, for his mother,
that pain is needed to rise and become stronger,
and I remember that to have loved
is a gift. So I am forever thankful and always