a triad of poems about ones journey in healing.
|Safety Isn't Kind / Save|
Safety isn't kind.
It won't cradle you in its arms
nor keep you warm in a swaddle
Safety is blind.
It won't protect you from harm
nor soothe your hiccupping breaths
Instead, safety is feigned in the corners of tragedy,
when growing pains and distant fathers can only get you so far.
Safety seeps into places it shouldn't be,
until the paint cracks and the walls scar.
Sometimes, safety is the clinking of bottles in the shelf of your refrigerator
And the promise that the liquor will warm your throat
Safety is stolen razor blades from a friends pockets
the presence carving sharp edges into your coat
Sometimes, safety is cigarette butts littered on your stone porch
And the everlasting presence of secondhand smoke
Perhaps safety is within your own head.
When thoughts are too big for your seven year old body
When the esoteric ramblings of poets are your lullabies as you lay in bed
When your calloused hands and broken fingernails are nothing but shoddy.
When the 'Who's and 'What's dance in your mind when the phosphenes sing their song,
You willfully pretend there isn't anything wrong.
But no one can reach you in your nightmares and broken promises,
even when you graze too close to black-and-blue blemishes.
A world separate from the physical, where you're the cynosure of your own mind.
Perhaps that's safety. But you must remember: safety isn't kind.
interlude / i see you still
i see you still, "dad"
in passing shades, fever dreams
you haunt our every move
Protection Isn't Safety / Protect
Protection isn't safety,
Protection is preservation.
When you can't handle it all, you handle some
Preserve the fleeting remnants of normality between your fingertips.
Protection is when doors muffle screams and windows pop from their rusted frames
When mothers smile despite fluttering heartbeats,
eyes darting to doors
Protection is hidden bank accounts in the midst of debt,
Hearty laughter in the middle of threat
When midnight promises become core memories.
Protection is rude awakenings and falling tears,
For none of us expected our greatest fears.
The furniture and plates disappeared and drained,
Tearing up our home until nothing remained.
Raindrops of fear and confusion fight through your desperation,
but she reminds you; this is preservation
you, your sister, your brother
you were all together
The aching words of before rang before you
"Dear, I won't leave you"
and in that moment, you finally believed her.
call it god, luck, or skill
but the monster under the bed couldn't get up
we left no cracker, mattress or cup
and we never looked behind us,
and to be honest, it was a thrill
with trailers, friends and a new attorney,
That day we began a life anew.
and we went on a journey,
to a home without You.
im not angry anymore / interlude
im not angry now
I was scared, like a newborn.
im a kit no more.
i forgive you now
or at least I'm trying, so
im not angry anymore.
Love Isn't Safety (but with you, it sure is close) / Love
The gentle breeze is akin to a hummingbird's breath,
I wonder if I'll spot one today.
Pollen-littered meadows and loose dandelions fill my nose, onto my lungs, and I breathe out what they represent
False indigo and amaranth grow impossibly close, wrapping around my fingers and playing with the tendrils of my head.
This peace is temporary, but it's real.
The dirt is washed from my fingernails from those who understand.
Those same hands will hold me, reassurance
They say it's not my fault.
"I'm here to help you," she'll say.
And this time, it's real.
"It's not your fault" and "You're safe now" ring in my ears, even as I'm passed between therapists.
There's no more blaming, no more cries of "you're too young to be this sick."
Instead, they hold my aching bones and gently put me back together.
Now, they'll light the wick of safety.
One after another, pieces of the puzzle, starting off where the others left.
Parts of me will emerge from an avalanche and take a hesitant step towards freedom.
It'll take time. But it's real.
A new set of footsteps rustle the grass. I recognize them now. It's welcoming.
Friends, family, and most importantly, myself. All on their journey with me.
And for once, I smile.
Because love isn't safety, love isn't protection, and love isn't kind
but with all of you, it sure is close.