Poem: The Purpose of Healing

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The Purpose of Healing

There is light around the curve,
a brief respite of color.
Stand still and you can hear music,
a little raucous and more than a bit bluesy.

From this distance, the music is unintelligible,
the words muffled by walls and distance,
but the emotion is strong as light,
and you stop.

Your life has been dark enough.
It has left you too tender, too raw,
Even at this distance, the music resonates in the night.
A survivor’s tear slides down your cheek.

Not far behind you is the shore.
Long beaches with their slow rhythm of waves and swells.
Their music too, just reaches your ears.

You have spent your nights waking these beaches,
letting the dependable tides, wave by wave,
draw out the poison of your past,
salt in the wounds, painful and healing both.

And so you stand, a mere block from the cantina.
The music changes. A love song, soft and sad.
For a moment you waver,
eager to return to the shoreline.

But the purpose of healing is not to retreat
forever
and it is time to put the rehab to work.

You step towards the light.

 

About this poem

I am two years and a bit into my second marriage. It is a wonderful thing, but not a thing that came without some steps towards the light when the thought scared me to death.

I am glad I did.

The picture was taken in Provincetown, Mass, late one March night.

Tom

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