Tuesday, December 8, 2020


image of two thoughtful silhouette heads

Fighting back tears, again,

for the thousandth time in this pandemic world--
I think of all the mental health ads I see on a daily basis.
Mostly for meds that have a long list of insidious side effects.
But I’ve cried more this year than in the ten years prior.
The void is still there.

And how hard it was to find someone last year for
my 15-year-old who thought
her being gone forever might be less of a burden
than simply asking for help.
How many weeks and weeks of unreturned phone calls
and searching just to find a doctor, and finally the one we found
sees every conversation through a lens that doesn’t quite fit her…
who seems poised to cause the very problem he strives to fight…
I tell him he has a hammer,
and all of his problems are body-image nails,
but how many won’t argue?
How often does he shove someone into HIS narrow box?

I can say that I’m
really okay. But
everything is balanced on this sharp edge
and some days it cuts and I have to take a moment to collect myself…
maybe more than a moment,
and I think of others who always walk that razor,
who have a darkness inside of them that they fight,
long, exhausted battles that end in a draw, most days.

And I think of 290,000 families in the US alone
who now have an empty place where love should be.
How many more will there be before the year is over?
It is already enough.

How many deep, cleansing breaths can we really take?
How many times do I have to watch a strong woman
be berated for her honest admissions of sorrow, of weariness,
by someone who barely knows her but feels entitled to scold?
Yes, she’s capable of defending herself but why should she have to?

We are all of us breathing, pausing,
in this world, this place that tries to
shove us into the darkness with every hand
and we are holding that breath and fighting back sharp tears.
Always walking that razor edge.  

I want to yell: “stop” and
hold out my hands to pull you up.
But there is no time. No place.
And my heart just hurts.

The poet once wrote “ah love, let us be true to one another!
And yet we still falter, still lie, still reach out to find no help.

When will it be really enough?

KAW Dec 2020

*Image by Benjavisa Ruangvaree, licensed by Adobe Stock, Standard License. Do not reuse.