Posted by: Kate | March 3, 2011

Even Less

How easy was it
to assume
that I could cope
with your words?

How hard did you think
before aiming
the even harsher
shaft of silence?

Am I supposed
to smile and nod
and forgive and forget
whenever you’re ready?

We both know I will.

And if you don’t,
then you know me
even less
than I knew you.


I’m not one for poetry, and I’m also not one for airing the conflicts that hurt the most. I don’t come here – regardless of what my mother-in-law will tell you – to bitch about my husband after our latest argument, because those moments are so transitory and the bigger picture is so much more solid and real (though, now that I think of it, we haven’t argued for real in ages… not since the earliest, hardest, first days after I came out of the hospital and tried to re-enter a life that had changed at all the edges but still expected me to cram myself in, leading me to lash out at the people who were caring for me the most, loving me the most, because I was pretty sure they would still care for me and love me anyway; Willem, remind me to start a fight sometime soon, OK?). I didn’t post when my sister and I had our first-ever real, grown-up argument on Christmas night, because it was the first time we had a verbal spat since she was two and I was eleven and she insisted on saying, “See see!” instead of “Sea cow” after we had visited Sea World, and this one will wash out as being just as serious and important as that one, in the long run.

I find lots to complain about, in this life, and I’m very aware of the permanency of words. I run any blog post through a couple of filters, sometimes in a several-days-long process sort of like the aging of whine wine: first, will I be OK if my daughter, my husband or my grandmother reads this? Will they be OK? (The answer, by the way, is not always yes, and I have posted things that I knew would – and did – pain my loved ones to read… but I knew that going in, had thought about it ahead of time, and am quite aware of the inevitability of pain in life.) Next, will I be ashamed of my tendency to overshare, when I go back and reread this? And then, if I do decide to share some details about a loved one, instead of solely focusing on me and my own shtuff, will my words be reasonably fair and accurate? Will this story provide an adequate insight into this person and my relationship with her, or should I perhaps write a disclaimer?

So while I have a tremendous amount to say, on a topic that has claimed a significant portion of my brain and heart over the past few weeks, I’m not saying it here. Except in a poem, which presented itself to me almost verbatim – though of course, now, looking at the written words, they’re nowhere near as intense and poignant as they were inside my head, in the basement, while I folded laundry. And to say that the only reason I’m not completely overwhelmed with grief and misery at the loss of something deeply precious to me is that I don’t yet believe it’s gone.

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Responses

  1. Right after I read your post, I heard this quote from Edgar Degas, that seemed appropriate somehow. “I have seen some very beautiful things through my anger. And what still consoles me is that through my anger I do not stop looking.”

    It seems to me that through whatever emotion you are feeling, you do not stop looking at the situation/person evoking it. That takes a strong person and makes for good writing.


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