Oh my, when I pulled this prompt from my father’s bowler, I wasn’t thinking of my sister. I wasn’t even remembering it was her birthday today. After I read the words: ‘A Thousand Darknesses,’ all I heard/saw in my head was ‘stopped speaking’ and a shade being pulled down and I followed a pathway of how people fall away from us. They simply do. We stop knowing them. Good or bad. It takes effort to know and love someone, to keep them in our lives, to forgive them and ourselves over and over again. Sometimes they live in a thousand darknesses away from us.
A THOUSAND DARKNESSES
When we stopped
speaking I pulled the shade
down between us so your room
darkened with silence.
Whatever we were
No longer existed.
The rope cut, we drifted
Thousands of miles apart
One time I paddled hard to find you
Tied us together but the wet knot slipped and
Our words fell between us into another kind of darkness.
Sometimes I wish I could meet you anew with no memory of the pain we’d caused
Sometimes I want the memory of the wound so it doesn’t happen again but not you
Sometimes when I say my prayers of forgiveness
–I wish you well wish you well you well–
I forget the wound
Have to work hard to find the scar on my body
Even then amnesia wraps the how not the who.
I keep the shade pulled down
The room given to darkness
Again and again.