Saturday, February 3, 2018


I almost ended up last night in tears,
and I'm still trying to parse out
exactly what was in me that got triggered
when you suggested I might have handled that better.

Suddenly there were all these voices
shouting in my head,
explaining and proclaiming their defenses.
but somewhere, underneath them,
a little child was cringing.
You saw her, and tried to reassure her,
but she couldn't hear your voice
above the throng of other voices
clamoring in my head.

I'm pondering now that over-reaction,
attempting to assess its source
and trying to figure out just what went wrong.
Could it be our diet is putting both of us on edge?
Is it that some part of me assumes
if I'm not perfect then I also can't be loved?
Is there another way
you could have said it that would not have set me off?
Was I simply hearing echoes of the
voices in the past that disapproved?

And who is this, that's saying she's upset because
this thing she does imperfectly
is something sh resents having to do;
that this task has cut her off
from the ways she had been hoping to spend her time?
Speak, little one, and tell us how you feel:

I've lost my edge.
I cannot paint.
Because I've all this work
that I'd never planned to do,
I've not been in my studio,
and now when I go back I'm getting nothing,
nothing but ugliness and the pain of seeing
all that beauty come to a halt.
The only thing that made it okay to lose that talent
was the sense that what I was doing instead
might be a gift as well,
so if I'm doing that wrong, too,
then why am I wasting my time,
and what do I have to show
for this loss that I never meant to choose?

It could be that.
Or just too many things going wrong in one day --
the confusion over picking up the car,
the implication that I watch too much TV
(and your distaste for my choices)
when I thought the choice was yours.
Perhaps those last two bits
were simply the last straw,
and put my fragile soul over the edge--
but never mind. Today is a new day,
and we'll both try to learn from our mistakes.

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