I found this poem and photo some time ago and it resurfaced today, a memory from the midwestern home where I grew up. Readers of my blog and those who know me may have even seen a version of this a number of years back.
Today, as publication edges nearer, I recall more clearly the images that I re-encounter when I answer interview questions of my own making and discuss matters of revisiting trauma, of wounded healers, of life today for so many survivors.
Seemingly unrelated topics like the declining bee population across the globe come to my mind because I’m reading Helen Jukes’ amazing book, A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings, and her admonition that saving bees isn’t done by adding and caring for more bee hives. It’s done by caring for the world the bees depend on—the wildflower pastures, the meadows and grasslands and prairies and woodlands that are being lost to corporate agriculture and “urban sprawl.” Our heartlessness. Our habitat fragmentation.
My whole self fragmented in my early life. There are so many others like me. Fixing the house is only the beginning of fixing the world that supports us.
Revisiting Home After Fifty Years The porch is gone, and the sloping screen door. The peeling clapboards look like siding and the roof is new. Insects flew right in the torn screen door. Even the cat found entry. It was a broken place. Muffled sounds from the house faded away under the porch. It was quiet. In my refuge, a child's cave, the dirt seemed sifted, soft as talcum, as a kiss. Hazy particles swam unfiltered through shadows in dusty clouds and held me. The porch is gone, also the screen and the house no longer cries for paint. May it please be better in this new unbroken place.