I laughed like a crazy person! Hope you enjoy. 🙂
An Unassembled Table and 42,538 Pieces of Hardware
Today I watched my almost 20-year-old kitchen table leave my home
It was old, stained, chipping, covered underneath with layers of Disney stickers
Evidence of its long and beloved history, weaved into fibers of oak.
Now it has left to continue its life with one branch of a broken family
To build more history, create new memories beneath a different roof.
I am sitting on the floor of the empty dining room, noise echoing
Around me are strewn parts of a new, unassembled kitchen table
And about 42,538 pieces of hardware carefully separated into piles.
I have never put together a table before, having never needed to learn
But these are unprecedented times – this table will not build itself.
I am squinting at an encyclopedic manual full of pictures and no words
Learning on the fly how to use a screwdriver 101, how to hammer nails,
How to assemble a table to replace the one I thought would always be here.
There is grieving in this process, but it is oddly comforting to cry while building
Viewing this hardware, these wooden boards, the way I view my heart:
Scattered in a thousand pieces but capable of reassembling.
How do you rebuild a life after so much loss?
Well, you sit on the floor of your empty dining room, weeping,
And one-by-one, you piece together the wayward, broken parts
Learning as you go the basic rules and steps for regeneration
Making far more mistakes than progress at first,
Putting together the whole entire thing only to discover you forgot several pieces
And you must tear it all down again, painfully, to be built up even stronger
Until it is, miraculously, through your determined effort,
Assembled into something sturdy, stable, just waiting for new memories.
A Balm for the Lonely of Heart
To the ones who rise up from gravity with heaviness in their chest
Souls fraying at the edges while consistently giving their best,
To the ones who care for others with shoulders stooped in pain
Hiding worlds of grief, pushing aside the rising shame,
To the ones who know within themselves they are sound and whole
Yet long for the caring presence of other likeminded souls,
To those who are afraid of the uncertain chapters ahead
Trying to muster hope out of a sense of looming dread,
To the fathers and the mothers raising children on their own
Producing optimism from thin air in the face of the unknown:
I see beneath your stoic face the mental wear and tear
How you long to share your burdens with those who truly care
I hear the deeper meaning beneath the words “I am okay”
How the feelings run so deep no words can possibly convey
What you have lived, what you have learned, what you must hide
The extent of courage needed to simply stay alive,
I know it feels like no one peers into your inner world
But I can see it, dear soul, your hidden pain is heard.
The snow is softly falling tonight
In this moment of quiet reverie
A welcomed dissonance in the chaos
Reminding us that even in times of uncertainty
There are hidden pockets of relief
Sights that still take our breath away
Small bursts of hope in the hopelessness
When for a brief interlude, our worries cease.
A quaint and cozy home with a welcoming feel
Young faces at the window, tender hearts to heal,
Food in the cupboards and blankets in the cold
A space that feels safe; a place to grow old,
Deep conversations from the bottom of the soul
Permission to be just as we are: human and whole,
A beloved life purpose to add meaning to each day
The ability to say exactly what we need to say,
Knowing we need not face illness in an empty room
Arms encircling in the darkness and the heavy gloom
Small rewards to get by from hour to hour
Affirming words to help us confidently step into our power,
Nestling into the safety of some form of permanency
These are my basic needs, these are my earnest pleas.
I followed my pain to its source
And it led me back to myself,
Unknowingly harming my self-worth
With critical, demeaning, bullying words
Tones of disappointment, tinged with guilt
Becoming my own abuser
Through a subconscious inner dialogue.
We cannot begin to heal our wounds
Until we first learn self-compassion
Speaking to ourselves as we would a loved one
Using tones of empowerment, benevolence, calmness
Treating ourselves as we strive to treat others
No longer the enemy of our progress
But a loving support to our own souls.
The Invisible Support
What is the invisible support propping up your feet,
When days grow long and bitter,
In a series of defeats?
What shields you through the fire and the rain,
Mitigating inner turmoil
Softening the sharpest pain?
Is it the voice of someone benevolent and dear
Placing arms around shoulders
Calming down your rising fears?
Is it the motivating gift of life pursuit,
Engaged in what matters most
All self-doubt to refute?
Cling tightly to those strong, reinforcing stays
Hold them in your best esteem
As they uphold you on your way.
Do Not Mind the Tears
Do not mind the tears, dear soul,
They are falling on their own accord
During moments of welcomed grace
And waves of crushing heartache,
All signs and evidence of your safety
For I do not allow my tears to show for any
But the kindest most entrusted souls.
Do not mind my unleashing of words
As they tumble haphazardly from my lips
No grammatical structure, no thoughtful themes,
A geyser of long compartmentalized sentences
That could no longer bear containment,
Proof that you must be of infinite value
For I do not share my words with any
But the most compassionate, warmhearted souls.
Do not mind my neurotic, blubbering presence
For it is only your inherent goodness
That has given me permission to be just as I am
Without fear of repercussion or judgment,
A gift of unconditional positive regard
You have graciously bestowed upon me.
No longer waiting for the next step to appear,
She finally stood up, shaking off the dust of stagnancy
And set to work gathering earth and stones
To build her own stepping stone.
No starbursts appeared to show her the way
No neon signs to illuminate a destination
Only the softly persistent pull of her intuition
Guiding her to pave the next step with her own hands.
Perhaps this is what it means to leap into the dark:
Breaking free from the cycle of waiting for rescue
Blazing the trail with courageous endeavor
Without any obvious intervention, only trust in self
Realizing in hindsight that in the forward movement
There was, unfailingly, the presence of divine undertones.
And the Sun Rises, Still
And the sun rises, still
Even after discouraging days
Our hearts find ways to mend
In unexpected ways,
Feet continue walking
Despite our weakened knees
And shoulders once hunched
Rise up with growing ease.
Eyes once sad and downcast
Look upward in meek faith
Hands that used to tremble in fear
Long for meaningful ways to create.
We are products of resilience
Toughened up and battle-worn
Learning to love altruistically
Softened from the loss we mourn.