There may come a day
when the weathered bridge
beneath your feet
halfway through your crossing over.
You'll lose sight
of the familiar footholds and handholds
because they're no longer there.
Maybe you're even tumbling now
through the shattered boards and beams
that once faithfully held you up.
Maybe it was the departing of a person.
A parent. A friend. A lover.
Maybe it was a betrayal.
A friend. A lover. A spiritual teacher.
Maybe it is a role you once performed
that is no longer needed
because the click-click-click of time
has clicked on by
and left you standing by the roadside.
Perhaps there's a label you once wore
like a badge of honor,
a medal earned,
that has been torn from your invisible garments
by high winds and shifting tides;
by the crumbling tumult of severances
and choices that were not yours to make.
Mother of small children
Embodiment of once-generative artistry
The funny one
The spiritual one
The happy one
You know who you were.
Don't look back,
lest you become a pillar of salt.
fresh and nameless,
facing the void
like an open wound.
Put on the crisp, bright robe of purification.
Fall to the waters of the river below.
Push past the bridge fragments
and surrender to the flow.
Do not seek a 'geographical cure'
for there really is nowhere else to go.
Though words of comfort
and shoulders to lean on
can steady you
in the sparse moments,
this is your journey
and yours alone.
You may feel the need
to seek out distractions.
Distract yourself to your heart's content.
in the infinite mirages of forgetfulness
everything there will eventually prove empty and tasteless.
Push away the old rituals of "self-soothing";
the ones that don't actually soothe at all
but numb the deep-wisdom-knowing of your ancient neurocircuitry.
Expand Your Lungs
Gasp for the Living Force of Air
as if you were a drowning saint.
Until you reach
until you reach
the Other Shore
that has always been waiting for you.
(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com