Sister Repentance

I spoke in frustration,
Squeezing, wrenching grief
Desperation and demands-
My shaking hands
Ready to shake you awake
With equal fear and violence,
So I spoke, then stilled
And yielded to the silence
Of falling memories,
Unfaded through the seasons
Before betrayal, before the treasons,
You doted on me-
A soft pillow beneath the headache-
Younger than you ever were,
Or would ever be again
and framed in kindness.
Those days drift to earth
Further forward
When I knew a call was coming
And unending trouble alongside
Trembling I whispered to you my fear,
And in great, bold strides
You shook your red cape;
The bull hissed, snorted, and veered-
I escaped.
So delicate these memories
Drifting through my day
Your brush mid-stroke,
Your melodic croon-
You learned the art of war
Too soon to stay a boy
Trading toys for the accoutrements
Of a young man marching onward
Gently these memories
Drop softly down,
Like tears on the tabletop,
Or petals to ground-
And the mightiest of all these
Is that night
He pushed his way
Into our best life
Onto my skin
Every surface broken again
Paralyzed and jagged
And you pressed until I spoke
Five vague words
Then you packed up my most valuables
Driving into the darkest night
To spare me my own.
I owe you so much-
I never whitewashed that ledger.

My grief dredges my debt,
Weighing it against your need
Everything I have left
Might help the boy trapped
Inside the hardened shell
Of the man who marched through hell,
But the tools are weapons
In his angry hands.

These petals gently fall-
I can’t rebuild the rose,
But I know Who can.
Come home again-
Though no home exists-
Come home again
Don’t resist forgiveness,
Repentance, hope,
Faith, and the greatest:

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