It is just that, messy the blur
anticipation whirling with brightness
overpowering the shadows of memories forgotten in the magic
of the season until until until they never really are gone
they linger

They spread they creep they crawl under the tree
into the depths of the corners
where no decorations were hung
quietly yet loud
they wait until the day after the seasonal celebration to announce

Their return more powerful in a rested state
and me more vulnerable after the extra work
to make the days before a masterpiece
just right a perfect storm of depletion
and as it whistles a tune I don’t care for

It is best not to ignore, no I have learned
as the years move on it is best to sit down
on the ground
slowly noticing each ache inside and out tending
to each one

As if they were delicate children abandoned
some need songs sung others a rub down or leafy greens
strong herbal blended teas, a listening ear
a stretch in just the right place
solitude with no alarm, deep-seeded grace

And inside my heart as I tend and mend
the once barely and ember of hope grows steadily into a flame
with each gentle smile into the mirror or truth spilled from my lips
there it begins
that skip back in my step

Where the warmth within me
can begin again to warm those who count on my love
who need it to see themselves as I have always known
one at a time the shadows retreat knowing
today in the mess, I see them clearly but my fire within is a safety-net of hope


  1. This poem is a work of art, Carrie, touching on our vulnerabilities as we work to create happiness and on the darker, messier places that won’t go away until we face them, care for them, soothe them for ourselves and those we care about; but we have the strength in us to rally and find the ease needed. I felt you were writing about our humanity as I read this, my dear friend.

    1. Humanity, exactly. I treasure your comments, Janet. It was clear to me I needed to write about that feeling after the holidays, where people describe it as a huge let-down. It reminds me of how deeply we abandon ourselves in the face of societal expectations. There really are ways to keep holding on to ourselves and enjoy the season. But, when it has gone too far…this is about the only way I know to get back into a loving presence with myself, feet on the ground and slowing way down. I thought it might help for others to know too.

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