Poem: Dancing on Rowboats

Dancing on Rowboats

Somehow, so much has come
undone.
Scattered.
The pieces losing their
relationship,
one to another. A season too strange

to grasp.

You have done it before.
Started over. But
you believed
you were done with it, finally
in a place of stability and sense.

But fate, it seems
is more than fickle,
it loves
chaos. The devil at work.

But it won’t.
Work that is. You are an expert
in wrestling sanity from madness.
Your own daily battles have made you
a master rebuilder,
and so.
it starts.
you begin
to push the unsettleness back.

unsure how many rebuilds you have left in you.
But today,
one more,
is enough. You are ready
to dance on rowboats
as you lay the new brick on old.

About this poem

When I first began therapy, maybe fifteen years or so ago, one of the things I needed to do was regain the ability to express feelings. Good or bad. I had lost that ability in the years before beginning my work. I would write in my journal “Today I feel….”, writing the emotions I could name.

In the beginning they were a child’s emotions. Half a dozen basic ones. As time and practice came into play, my vocabulary of emotion slowly came back to me. I got to the place where I could write poetry with some subtlety and write in my journal with more accuracy.

That time was just one of many “reboots” in life as life did what it did. The latest of course, being the combination of Covid and cancer that has been my past eighteen months that has upended so much of my life, and left me, like everyone else in the world, figuring out life, work, love and worship anew.

It is an unsettling time. Even now as we start to see the light at the end of our Covid tunnel, and as my cancer treatments near their end. There is something new ahead. Another rebuilding. It would be a daunting task, except if I have learned anything in my sixty five years it is what my favorite refirdgerator magnet tells me each day: Begin Anywhere.

I can. You can. We can do this.

Tom

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