Elegy to What She Thought Was a Well-lived Life

She can’t remember a time
When she didn’t want to
Make other people happy, proud
Follow a true north
Do better, constantly do better

Yet she failed. She failed utterly,
Miserably, never thought that
Helping one might mean
Causing harm to another
And then last year happened
And everything flipped on
Its head

And lovely child deserves

A family deserves better.

Strip pretenses; stop judgments.
Spoken truths reveal this:
Vitriol, bitter jealousy and continual
Goodness-crushing destroy her intent
To build a meaningful life with
Someone who loved her
And needed her,
But drains her of joy.

Survival only remains

Like poverty when it robs souls of ambition
So, constant belittling steals belief
In her own soul. Nay saying negativity
That peels each layer of skin back
Until raw, broken redness cries

And she seeks solace in those
Who know nothing of her lonely life
Her battle to smile
Her need to be connected to kindness
And love.

Until finally, all moments—
life overseas, college years,
and faith guided days of youth
Become memories that, like
Lightening striking the waters of
Lake Powell while she and her lover
Escape the rented aluminum skiff
To hide beneath the hieroglyphic
rock outcroppings, singe her soul
reminding her of a joy that cannot be found
here and now.

And so, as so goes—she’s really going—
She hopes the better parts of her life
Shine through

And she hopes no one is angry
Nor bothered by her departure—
Because if they are, they did
Not understand that she had really wanted
to live a good life, but she didn’t
do that very well—Not a self-pitying
thought—she would despise that
attribution; but rather
an imposter coming clean.

She fell in love with her work,
She fell in love with her kids,
She fell in love with her man,
She fell in love with the words.

And then, she crashed into something
She could not control.
And she stopped herself
Before it stopped her.

And catch -22 exists.

This is what happened. Saved only to perish.


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