By Rachel Curtis

Where did you want to go when you said “no more”?
We were caged birds drunk on the glory of sunlight
Our pinioned feathers took time to regrow
But can a bird know bliss until it has felt the relentless wind
Rush under its wings and lift its frail body into the atmosphere
Every bone singing with purpose, the wild sky whispering
“you were made for this.”

Why do I resist loving you?
Your smile promises a happy ending for our family
I will take painful re-beginnings over passive demise.
Slowly I learn that you did not deserve my hatred
As I did not deserve your anger and insecurities.

Your flimsy good intentions gain a little merit
When I think of the boys and men who would have used me, had I let them.
You taught me to mistrust the words I want to hear,
To not credit anyone for giving me
What I can provide myself. Happiness. Escape from loneliness.

Time flows like water over our foundations
I am beginning to see the worth of steady love
As I pour pebbles over the toprock to delay the erosion
Of my naive happiness.
I can love you more the less I need you.
You are shale and sheetrock, promising protection but crumbling under

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