Holy Week (split ends)

It came on suddenly–turning toward the mirror–
that which I have avoided like an ex–
the one who holds all my secrets

Turning to profile, I see my split ends
touch the small of my back and I wonder
how it grew so fast– or was I rip-van-winkling
had I stopped looking feeling smelling the time
did I have to remind myself occasionally what day it was
so I would be where I was supposed to be
and on time

I know there are friends
who are done with my nonsense–which is not nearly finished–
as I unravel the threads–the tragedy woven into the mundane
and my only regret in all of it–
my only pause I take in the intense scrutiny
of the woman in the glass–

Is the pain I see around the eyes and the lips–in the knowledge
that I hurt you and your brother
hurt you with months (years) of depression and looking the other way
wounded you with ears that did not hear it all
afraid of the truth in a time when truthful words cut me like rapiers

So I move on so I clash and strain and struggle for you to hear me–
ears that have had it–that love me in their own way–but no longer give credence
to middle-aged fears and jolts–

So I struggle with this, I strangle my fears to leave them back there in the mirror
so that when I see you and you hear me again, my only gift I will give to you again
will be hope

The hope of the Father I found in the sky the flowers the rain and my own hands
more lined than they used to be, dried and cracking around bitten nails from crisis and leaning into the bastard rasp repeatedly until they bled

so that my only choice I am left with, is to look up with hope and prayers, this holy week that went by over and over throughout a decade
and rolls here again, the day I lost my mother slipping by during the holiest of seasons, when love and hope and mercy and forgiveness all are measured into the pot, until what we carry to the table nourishes and soothes the souls that gather there for my only one night


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