Something like Love

“You can’t divorce your parents”, my father
said on one of his angrier days.
His criticism stung, iodine on fresh wounds,
my second divorce final that afternoon.
I settled into my childhood bed regretting
poor choices.
I lived in his home.
He could berate me, I reasoned.
Myself, scolded.

You must forgive as Christians do.
Aren’t you a Christian? You say you are,
she instructed in her disapproving voice.
I settled into my marriage bed repenting
current sins.
I claimed a religion
as did she, I thought
myself, a hypocrite.

I am the graphite tip of his worn pencil
underlining a particularly moving passage.
One he wished he had written.

I am the upturn of her judgement.
The tone with which she maneuvers
my reactions like puppet strings.

Let us go headlong into the fog
to find exactly what we fear.
To find what is unknowable,
we must find something dark.
Something opaque like fog.
Something we do not understand.
Something like love.

Susan Ward Trestrail, 2017
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