The Hurt carry on the tradition, would never think to give it up, don’t even know there is that option, strap on their weapons without a second thought. How can there be a second thought when there never was a first. Hurt is a reflex and it moves its way through the world like dominoes tumbling; everything’s knocked down before you ever saw it standing. So, what’s the use anyway? So, I fall down and in that action push you forward and we are all together in the mud, but it is so hard to recognize anyone in the mud, including myself and especially you. If I hurt you that makes it hard for me to see anything about you except my wish for your departure, which I subconsciously hope will take away the guilt I can’t afford to feel. If I make it out of the mud I can’t afford anything, but if I don’t pay up I’ll be in new mud soon, so I must break tradition and the first step toward that is seeing it and the second is calling it by its name.
Open up your secret vault and unload
If the first is a guess, what is the second?
Paranoia or worse.?
Action is a blessing, reaction a debilitation
And to twist from reaction to self-doubt
Sinks the battle and the battleship.
When I can’t make sense, the gift is stepping back,
Better to put my hand down than to lose the farm.
When I find myself in a minefield I can walk gingerly
Or wait for aid to come from above, air rescue or other.
The option of rethinking every step sets me dancing
The tune which begins this hurky jerky polka of death which
Stems from the metronome of criticism playing in my ear.
When I am overwhelmed with critique
I give up acceptance of chance or joy of spontaneity
Throwing myself into a pit of apprehension.
I am safer being wrong occasionally
Then unsure forever
You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault