Sand

I arrive at the 
front door of a house
that holds
the dynamics
of family 
as pervasive
and as deep
as a bloodline. 

At the doorstep I
witness the
lines of 
victim-hood
blended with
the incessant
need to be right.

In the doorway
I take a breath
in anticipation.

I notice the sand
that's been carried in on
the feet of
my beloved
family members.

I don't want to feel
the sand
on the bottoms of my own
or on the seat of my chair
or the floor of the shower.

I wonder
about the
rifts 20 years
in the making 
and what they've
done to the floors
of this home.

They seem as
ubiquitous
yet invisible
until felt
as the sand that
found its way
into the
fabrics
of this family.

The floors take the brunt of it
scratched and rubbed down
until layers of coating
are exposed raw
until the foundation of this
home cannot
hold the weight
of what we bring to it.

At the doorway
I look inside.
I see my mom and
her sister sitting
a the kitchen table.

I wonder what it is
I do not know
about the sand
between their own toes
particles they may not even
feel anymore
since its become
ingrained
into the way things are.

I don't want to feel
the sand
on the bottoms of my feet
or on the seat of my chair
or the floor of the shower.

Sand belongs on the
shoreline
where the ocean can
do with it
what she pleases.

Here, the sand
clogs and scratches
it irritates and hollows.

I take another breath
remove my shoes.
I wash my feet of the
abrasive
and the stubborn.

I take care not to step
in the sand
my family
carries in.

Reflection

She says to me,

“You get to figure this all out. 
What a beautiful
challenge to overcome.”

She suggests I look
not to the trauma
or the pain
but the fear.
Fear of being left.
Fear of being seen. 

“You look through lenses
scratched and clouded.
You feel through fear.
Until you know your ground,
until you know
what you want
and expect nothing less,
you’ll continue to question.
You’ll continue to feel doubt.”

I look to her
tears decades old
decorate my face. 

“So what now?”

She looks at me with
a knowing smile.

“You already know.” 

Trauma

A distressing event
a disruption
unsettling.

A disconnection
from the experience
of self,
of others.

How can one
learn to settle
in a body
that's proven
fallible
in a world in which
we so desperately
seek certainty.

Under construction

My craft is my work
navigating conversations
Observing patterns
of thought and behavior
Responding in ways
that can be clearly heard
by the person sitting in front of me.

My art is my listening
the way I allow space
for a person
to freely express all that’s in them.
the light and the dark,
the in between.

My craft is understanding trauma and its presentations.
My art is understanding my own.