After the darkness, 1994

1994 after darkness0001

They worried over me

and I didn’t even know.

Mom found my red notebook

and in her panic she showed it to Dad.

They both read my darkest letter

I never needed to leave behind.

But that was months ago

and all Mom said was, “I never knew

what I might find when I came home.”

Why didn’t she say something,


when things were really bad?

Dad and I sat in my car in my driveway

and I braced myself for a rebuke.

“First of all,” he said,

“I want to emphasize

the excellence of your writing.”

Nothing could have surprised me more—

a compliment for my final goodbye?

Then he recounted his own familiar story

and I waited for him to say

“I understand.”

Instead he said, “Shake it off.”

His words tumbled down a cold shaft

and rattled me to my core.

If you really knew me

if you really understood

you’d know the thick darkness pulled me downward

and the dark grey cloud still threatens above.

I can’t lighten up, I can’t

shake it off.

I can only claw my way out of the pit

with the help of my heavenly Father.

But I said nothing

because we are not the same

and deep inside

I moved far away.

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