Shattered

Shattered like stained glass

Scattered across such unforgiving ground

Price paid for a reckless rebellion

Elbow deep in abandoned hope

She sifts anxious

Through bloody shards and dust

Searching, digging, scavenging

For just one piece

The one,

That will reflect the Light back in.

The one,

That always reminds her

why she should

Stand and fight again.

cswhitlow

Their Favorite Coffee Shop

He watches her,

From across their favorite coffee shop,

Revels secretly at the sight of her

Getting lost…

Words,

Phrases,

lines,

crafted ages ago,

In another time,

In other places,

About other loves…

Ink on paper,

Heartbeats etched into exquisite lines,

Passion bled from dark poets

And tormented souls.

Her breath catches,

Her eyes close briefly in silent wonder,

Swirls of fragrant steam forgotten

In the mug beside her.

He watches her,

From across their favorite coffee shop,

Envious of the words that could

Ignite such a soul.

cswhitlow

Can you? 

Can you take her at her worst?

When the demons she silenced so long ago get loud again

and her insecurities bleed raw truth from whiskey loosened lips?

Can you watch while she sets her whole world on fire?

With her honest tongue

And acid tears driven mad by the truth in her head?

Can you bear to hold her when she becomes the hurricane

she promised was buried under the rubble you started to clear away?

Waiting for the crack in the surface

That would set it free ….

Can you take her at her worst?

 

cswhitlow

Take Me Back 

Next Saturday will mark 9 years since I said my final goodbye to my mother. 9 years. Hard to fathom sometimes. Her disease, the years taken from us while she was still living, the anger, the hurt, the obligation … this was all I could remember for far too long. Sadly, I still cannot recall a time before the sickness, a time when our roles were not reversed, me giving, her taking. I cannot recall her unbroken.

There are nights though, when I dream of her. Most often, and ever so graciously, my dreams grant me memories of the rare, precious moments … her laughter, her pride for something accomplished by her only child, her vulnerability free of a cynic’s sharp tongue. On these nights, I wake up to peace, wrapped in the joy that can only be birthed from great sorrow. On these nights, the scars beneath my skin stretch familiarly and I whisper into the darkness, “Thank you, Mamma … for this terribly beautiful story of ours.”

And on some nights, after she dissolves back into the mist for the night, I dream of Ireland and the trip given to me after her passing by the people that knew the greatest desires of my soul and recognized somehow that my grief had something to discover on the distant shores of my ancient history . The trip I had longed for since before I can remember. The trip I never imagined possible.

On these nights, I wake with such bittersweetness trickling down my cheeks and I remember the most precious pieces of that grieving girl, standing on Irish soil, cold March rain mixed with the first tears she had cried in months. I remember the desperation and peace. The brokenness and the relief. The emptiness and the overwhelming awe. It was a beginning. A place to start. Grief poured out into an ocean.

It’s 3:01am as I type this. Too many words, thoughts, memories scrambling for attention as pieces of those dreams of my Mamma and of my Ireland, hover at the edges of my mind once again.

It’s time for another beginning. A new season of growth. Something’s grumbling beneath my skin again. Not quite grief this time, but perhaps passion, adventure, or some yet to be named emotion, begging for both that desperation and peace. The brokenness and the relief. The emptiness and the overwhelming awe. And the all the other contradictions in between

All of that is a rather lengthy intro to the scribble below. If you’ve made it this far down the post and have the stamina or desire to continue reading, I hope you enjoy the words quite literally extracted from tonight’s dreams.

Here’s to my Mamma and to Ireland …

Take me back,

She whispered,

To the mist drenched green,

To the smell of wet earth and molded book pages,

To the calm that finally woke the voices.

 

Take me back,

To those ancient stones,

To the pints and soul-searching nestled in obscure corner places,

To cold air breathed deep into brittle, aching ribs.

 

Take me back,

To the haunted gravestones,

To the sacred ground that felt more honest than any place before,

To those burial mounds, electric with history and a truth so penetrating.

 

Take me back,

To the Isle of my people before,

To the place where my grief first discovered her voice,

To shores where dreams became real again.

Take me back,

She whispered….
She needs finding once more.
cswhitlow