Wednesday, May 1, 2013

At eighteen, when I wrote Life's Tools, I was just beginning to get an inkling of the difficulties I would be facing in the coming years. Flashbacks and panic attacks introduced themselves to my life at this age. By sharing my memories of incest with my oldest sister, I jumped off a cliff believing my family would catch me, and I found only empty air. 

I crash landed, a hard and painful landing that shattered every part of my identity, my safe world, and my reality. Even as I gasped for air to breathe, even as I realized that my life as I thought it was, had never really existed in the first place, I knew that God would help me and eventually I would be OK. 

  At the time I I wrote this poem I didn't like or read poetry.  I don't really know where my poems came from. My only explanation is that my Neshama, or a very wise part of me, wrote them to me.  Ironically, Life's Tools was published in the Where What When in Baltimore over twenty years ago.

Life's Tools

Heavy metal tools

tumble down on me

I reach out to catch them

as they fall

I grasp them tightly

but I don't know why

the unbearable strain

on my arms and chest

tell me to drop them

they are too heavy

but I won't let them go

and I feel myself


then darkness and despair

overcome me


I find I did not let go

the tools are embedded

in my tightly clenched fists

slowly carefully

I stand up


I learn to move with them

and slowly

as my wounds heal

my muscles become accustomed to their weight

until I do not feel

their heaviness

only their security

I am stronger

I am better armed

I will keep these tools

they are mine for life

I did not drop them

I could not drop them

God sent them my way

because He knows I will need them

to build.

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