Grief that Made Me Grow


A crack resounds from the soul of the earth.


All air becomes pain. The kind of air that tastes like blood after a run in the cold. Every breath brings this searing hot pain-air

closer to the deepness of your soul…

a single membrane separating it from the contents of your life source.


This hot pain-air makes my lungs feel like they are steaming,

dripping with blood.


But then I’m stuck underwater, this ice water,

submerged just close enough that my outstretched arms can feel that surface air, still full of pain

 but full of life,

dancing across my finger tips.

Every motion is harder than the first…

either I move with jet speed or I float lifeless, surrendering to the deep.

Such a spectrum tears me in half…my outstretched arms straining,

 arms extended to their full capacity, fighting for air

…fighting surrender to the deep.


But my feet make themselves heavy…the weight of all my body compounding on my toes to keep me stationary

…keep me still…

that even though giving this cold water it’s way with me could kill me,

I wouldn’t have to fight so hard.

I wouldn’t have to fight.


So in the precious moments I have left…I float…pushed by the currents…

shutting off my muscles one by one to give in.

 Muting my thoughts and letting the resounding silence numb me.

If I don’t fight, then I won’t hurt.


I see pain above me…so deeply dredged in the air that breathing is a chore…

molecule upon molecule blanketing the water,

dreadful…like a hill at the end of a race.

I look down and around. I see the water,

 so saturated in cold bitterness

that I can feel the cold seeking me out…searching for my bones,

 like a drop of blood in water it spreads itself to every edge and curve.

It selfishly wants every bit of my being to be as cold as bitterness itself.


And there was something about the taste of bitterness that I liked…

it wasn’t good but it made me want more.

It made me want to keep drinking more and more…



…and what if I breath it? What if I let it have its way

and get to my lungs…get to my heart? Stop fighting all together?


But when you breathe in bitterness water…you die.

You kill your soul through oversaturation

and capitulation to ice cold bitterness.


Without thinking my arms go up again and I turn on my muscles and I am filled with some fight in me…

I make my feet move and I struggle from the icy chains keeping me under and with my very last moments left

I reach up with all my might

 I reach up,

with all I am…

and instead of a useless fight with myself and the water….

I feel my body lifting up.


By grace itself I am lifted up…

up until my mouth can so dramatically breathe in, deep and full.

But I breathe deep the searing pain air. And I hate it and I fight it and I try to cough it out.

But I remember the ice of bitterness and I choose to breathe it in.


And for once I just breath out. I don’t cough out or spew out, I breath out.

And something bloodily beautiful occurs. The searing pain air is transformed in my soul’s gas exchange into lament.


And a bloody lament comes from my lungs…

like the wail of a child afraid,

or the cries of a man betrayed,

or the tears of a daughters lacerated heart

…a full bodied lament…flows all around me now

and the pain is converted and comes out loud and messy

 and broken and angry…and beautiful.


And each lament before I know lifts me up…

The grace itself that lifted me up…

the love itself that lifted me up has lifted me up further…

on a cloud of my own laments He lifts me up.

My laments are the carrier to him. My carrier to the caress of God.


And he heard, and he hears, and he listens.

This poem is about: 
My family
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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