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Zion National Park, Utah, March 2017. Copyright © Michael D. Warden. All rights reserved.


It’s a murder

when they tell you

you cannot do

what you dream

My mother used to say

you can’t always get

what you want

She, who was abused

by her brothers

and her father

She, who abused me

once she was grown

I suppose she should know

So we stand precariously

on the edge of the knife

of our undoing

try to balance

our hearts there

Can this be home now?

Then one day

without really thinking

we use the blade

to cut away our longing

not quite realizing

that very pain

is what keeps us alive

If you have died

like this

here is what

you must do:

Go back.

Go back to where

you sliced your soul

in two

Find the parts

you left behind,

and weep,

and ask them

to forgive you.

Don’t hate yourself

for what you have done.

You are not the only one

who believed the lies

they tell us

Forget all that

Just take back what is yours

what has always been yours

what is you

and begin again.

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