All too often, during the first few years into my recovery, feeling of it hanging there by a thread was almost tangible—whenever the headaches were particularly bad, when a new symptom appeared, when I was on the verge of collapse from neuro-fatigue. I feared the possibility of another brain bleed.
At low tide, the sweep of the bay was just wet sand, rippled by the retreating wavelets.
The chilly, early morning walk was your idea.
We set out straight across the bay, heading for the rocks on the point,
But by the time we made it back the tide had turned,
For decades I didn’t file any of my sexual experiences under the label rape. After all, no one applied physical force—the sex was always consensual. Nor was I comfortable using the label statutory rape, even though when I was a minor, all my sexual partners were not. At the time, I knew what I was doing—I wanted it.
Granny was a story teller. Her stories mesmerized me. A few years ago, Dad gave me one of her notebooks, where she wrote about her adventures. Were her genes responsible for the writer in me?
And now you’ll need those wobbly super powers
Of stubborn guts and mental inner strength
To see you through the long, slow learning process.
Discovering what lost ground can be regained,
Using those special powers to weave the cloth anew.
I am so proud of you, my much-loved daughter.
“Life’s funny”. “Compared to what?”
The problem is we just don’t know.
What ‘selfish gene’ caused your angiomas
(Or mine, for that matter)?
Can medical miracles protect the kids?
We relied too much on ‘big brother’ to take charge, forgetting how small he was.
But he really didn’t seem to mind: “cummon Deb”, he said,
And off the two of you went, up the ladder of life.
I wanted to address the topic of coming to terms with my parents’ descent into old age, their ailing bodies and minds. I needed to explore my mourning over losing the parents I knew and loved. But my emotions were too raw.
Poems help say the unsayable and writing prompts help trigger a foray into the danger zone. A different point of view, clustering, or bouncing ideas off another writer can also help. So far, eventually I do end pushing my way into the story. I’m stubborn that way.