Joyful Interlude

At some point I stopped
listening to music. For me
it was someone else’s joy.

Someone else’s story.
Not mine. Abuse of any
kind stops the music

of your life.

My LP records sit on a
shelf. I thumb through
them from time to time.

I can’t play my music
CDs either. I don’t want
to revisit a life of abuse.

Songs stir memories
I rather not have. But I
long for the sweet and

joyful interlude that
was written only for me.

[Author’s note: FYI, there is an exception. I have a group of CDs known as my car music, e.g., The Manhattans, Huey Lewis, The Commodores, to name a few, that I listen to on and off. But they stay in the car.]

Was Me

In my mind, that place where fantasy
and I meet, I watched wave after wave
crash on the shore. I saw heartache

after heartache wash away the lines
in the sand. You can’t cross a line if
it isn’t there, can you?

I looked up at the dunes. I saw a big
woman waving to me. “Come on!” she
waved with one hand while the other

kept a large floppy sun hat on her
head. On the beach the sand was hot
in the midday sun and the water was

cold but there was always wind on
the dunes. Her light sundress blew
against her side and back.

I started to walk up the steep path
from the beach to the dunes. I lost
sight of her where the path zigzagged

as I neared the place where she stood.
When I got to the top, it became clear
that the woman was me.

As I laughed and sighed, I looked at
the beach. I saw a little boy playing
alone in the sand. He looked up.

There was something about him that
said he always plays alone. As I
waved, “Come on!” I knew that the

skinny tanned little boy was me.

Shadows in Life

all things are forgotten
by humankind
by time
by design

except for the memories
of war
of abuse
of pain
of suffering

for they are our own
they made us who we are
maybe not who we thought
we wanted to be

and what of the other memories
of joy
of love
of peace
et cetera

they cast light on the shadows
in life with hope for the life
to come

just like the knowledge of God
cannot be listed as a memory

A Candle of Faith

I can’t be having the thoughts I’m having.
The thoughts of past abuse never go
completely away. I understand that.

Those thoughts spawn other thoughts.
And before I know it, I’m back in a place
I don’t want to be.

Pain and pleasure converge once again
and I’m in touch with the confusion of
the eight-year-old that was me.

It is Satan’s fuel fanning the fires of past
abuse freezing my thoughts for today.
Fiery arrows aimed at the heart to destroy

whatever is true. The breath of an angel is
all it takes to quench this Hell fire and
bring me back into God’s grace and truth.

Light and darkness can never occupy the
same space. All it takes is a candle of faith
to dispel the darkness.