Tell a tale of openhearted grief and closed-minded terror. Bend the limits of misery. Pour over the damned feelings and tired excuses. Level the cupful of measured tyranny and wipe the drooling face of denial. The children will not dance tonight; the grass is wet with their tears. The dogs circle the encampment of desire and come to sleep when we are settled. Silly ruffled whimsy won’t carry the freight but the bus pulls into the drowsy station filled with tea-lites and pantomime. This story will close with a hand on the doorknob of hope, an eye on the jelly sandwich of contentment. Whisper the lullaby to the ones who stay to hear it. Morning cracks the shell to daytime. Shattered pieces litter the night; tremors shake my peace of mind. Sum up the analogies of broken hearts and twisted minds.
Draw from your toes, fingers and memory.
When I am left to amuse myself,
more often than not I turn my wicked wit
to redress those whose neglect I sorely feel.
This is childish, this is pointless
and yet I do it and do it well.
I am, too good at being alone and I resent it
and resent every necessity for honing that skill set.
When in the past I have made my mind up
to accept seclusion each overture is a slashing intrusion.
I am not a happy medium,
though I do doubt if such a thing exists.
I am an attention seeker
and when I am not I am an isolation monger.
The wavering nature of human interaction
is an uncertain sea for me, alternating downing me
or leaving me washed- up on some remote shore.
Even amid those I love the most,
I am a skinless writhing neonate,
hyper-reactive and living on the edge.
I somehow know the answer is self-esteem
or spiritual development,
but when in the midst of this imprudent reaction
the paths to these are lost.
I try to hold my breath when underwater,
when on the beach I try not to breathe the sand.
If I survive today I may grow out of this tomorrow.
You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault