Openhearted Grief

October 31





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.




Desert Island

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


About Sherrie Theriault

Sherrie Theriault, writer and outsider artist lives in northwest New Jersey where she writes villain-free fiction for children and young adults, creates coloring books for all ages, writes daily inspiration books for the recovery community and has other works of collected poetry; also adult fiction. Books available on include the following: Cala Mae The Deep Dark Day In The Congenial Chronicles The Holland’s Adventure Fill Me In Fill Me In, Too Filled In Sober on the Way to Sane More Sober on the Way to Sane Lines from My Life More Lines from My Life On-Liners to Live By My Sponsor Said… Elissa: Queen of Carthage Was Love Lost Order of Protection The Story Precedes the Question Can You See? What the Birdies Told Me about You What the Birdies Told Me about You Coloring book The Enchanting Dog Sherrie’s books are available at Blue Stockings, Manhattan, NY, The Clinton Book Shoppe, Clinton, New Jersey, Giovanni’s Room, Philadelphia, PA, Easy Does It in Long Beach, CA and The Latest Thing in Costa Mesa, Ca. You can find Sherrie’s art work at Hang-Ups Gallery in Allentown, PA or online at: Please feel free to contact her there if you have any questions.
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