I’ve been having a bit of writer’s block, which really doesn’t work for my life and occupation. But I remembered that it’s National Poetry Month and decided to find the strength to post something that was already written. It’s both strange and therapeutic for me to attempt writing poetry, and the irony of sharing this one online and on social media (because of its context) isn’t lost on me. It’s both an exercise in vulnerability and a new normal display of honesty for these words to make their way from being typed in a dark, deep valley to a more contented space in the public eye. I’m learning to be fine with the two.

Not everything works its way out
in longform
or in public square conversations,

As when that pill of pain is prescribed,
what happens if it’s taken online?
Where there’s already enough trauma
to last a lifetime
without mine.

Where unknown eyes get to walk me home
to see everyone’s light is on
but mine
Where I’d have the delusion, the illusion
that everyone’s light is on
but mine.

To where a phony friend can ‘follow’ me
down a carefully curated and monitored street,
to ‘like’ my pain without entering it
to ‘emoji engage’
and it feels real
to them.

Where the day is distraction
checking you, checking me
and checking out of lessons,
whatever this life has to teach.

A life of words that knock around
in my head for months,
not landing whole or respectable
in sentence or in thought
like muddled magnetic letters on a fridge
These days are in free verse;
Some of it is poetry.

This life full of weather delays
Some sunny days
Some breezy love
Some cloudy loss
As verse twelve through verse fourteen,
Psalm fifty-five reads too close
As God takes us some high,
and sometimes painfully low.

Some of life, a classic novel
fit for green pastures of leisure
Some a terror story
reminiscent of roller coasters so fast
I can’t get out a scream
And some of it is poetry.

Some time on the mend
Some time to process
uncertainty and unknowns
and all I wished I could undo
And what a slow processing process
it is.

See, some of us prefer to heal in the quiet—
not to be confused with the darkness
—but there’s been some of that too
A cloak of bleakness so black it’s bright
and oh, how it shines over every good sign.

Not to be confused with isolation
I’m telling you,
I’ve been surrounded by gems
and held up by Light
and this is the only way
I could describe this time
Some of it is poetry.

Pray it away,
command it to stay away
and still sometimes the dreaded dark
the bitter hurt
is back again
like crumbs, like laundry
like fear, like anxiety
like I think it’s going to give me an ulcer.

Like it can only be described in lines like this,
short like this
Some of it is poetry.

None of it made sense at the time
and at no time
would it have been healthy
in my unhealthy time
to sell tickets to watch the anguish of my soul.

Though for all its stories,
every chapter on every season
its inspiration and its horrors
and in times when the two
finally intersect and conclude,

I know—
now, I know
—not all of life will be written
in perfect paragraph form;
Some of it is poetry.