The Weirdest Thing

The weirdest thing how brave not knowing makes you. Not knowing the crash. Not knowing the presence of wrong. Not knowing the feral son has been a monster all along. He will not turn into a real boy instead he will be ever-so-carefully excised from the picture of the ordinary house, where trees have grown a rampart around all

who survive him.

I broke my own rule

One time in the same week I wrote a letter to someone and a poem to someone else.  Both someones had behaved badly.  My intrepid partner (always the English major) told me he liked the poem more than the letter.

Of course, I thought. Poetry is the marble colonade you hide in when followed by ghosts or splendor.  A letter is an everyday thing.  Too blunt to be art.  But is any of this about Art?

No.  Not really.  It is about sanctuary and splendor.  Borrowed safety and borrowed beauty.

And attempting however obliquely to suggest the existence of Absolute Love.

So I violated my own rule about my other blog– called etiology.  I told myself I would keep etiology free of my obsession with grief and injustice and the anger that follows these things.

I once wrote a poem I cannot see myself publishing.  Too painful, too personal.  I once wrote a letter to C’s prison therapist which simply described C’s crimes from what his victims and witnesses had said.  Just the facts, as they say.  The therapist read it and said he read my anger.


Anger? I thought.  That was just the facts.  I wonder what he would think if he saw my angry letter.

First you have to acknowledge

you are a crime victim

your child is a crime victim

the family itself has been

smashed from the inside out

from the core of who you were

the sense of safety

is gone

and all that remains

is the awareness of sharp edges

hard objects

unfamiliar territory


narrow ledges next to deep waters

where predators reside

everything has changed

simply because a truth has been revealed

no one is ever really safe.

no one

save Jesus