I keep thinking that I’m stuck
With a do-it-yourself kit for salvation.
It’s not turning out so well.
As much as I’d like to fix myself,
I just don’t seem to have the right tools
Or even (deep sigh) initiative.
(I’ve lost the excuse that I don’t have the time.)
So, I sit here, with pieces-parts
Scattered across the table.
They fit together awkwardly.
There seem to be pieces missing,
And pieces that don’t fit.
And pieces that I’d like to hide.
I beat my head with my fist.
(Gently, of course.)
That’s when I hear your chuckle.
You sit down beside me and survey the scene.
You sort through the pieces
And carefully polish a small glass bead between your fingers.
“This one is for Tasha,” you say quietly,
And place it in your pocket.
I’m taken aback.
I want to grab it back from you.
“How dare you take this part of what is mine?”
You give me a look that takes my breath, as well.
I am appalled by those words
As they tumble from my mouth.
I want to stuff them back inside,
But that’s been the problem all along –
Those things I hold inside so deep
That I can deny they are a part of me.
So I revert to whining.
“I am already incomplete …
How can I possibly afford to lose more?”
My self-pity tumbles out,
And sits writhing on the table.
She scuttles to the far edge
Scooping scattered pieces into a pile.
She hovers protectively over them,
Shifting from foot to foot.
You shake your head and pick up another piece.
“This one is for Jorge. See how it bears his name?
And this one is for Raymond.
And, ah, Rachel needs this bit, just here.”
I sit with my mouth open and my hands trembling.
Self-pity reflects the horror in my heart,
Tearing at her hair and fretting to herself.
Will you take it all?
Will I be left with nothing?
My fear, which has been hiding under the table,
Clambers out into the light.
She is followed by the large and lumpy shape
Of my disdain, who turns her eyes toward me
And shakes her head with deep revulsion.
This project has fallen into disarray
And taken me with it.
But you sit beside me, unperturbed.
My cadre of false friends do not distract you.
You clear a small area on the table
And give me an encouraging smile.
From another pocket, you take a small stone.
It is an opal, small and deeply luminescent.
“Brenda sent this to you, knowing how you’d love it,”
You say, as you place it before me.
It wakes the tiny Hope within me.
She comes forward to hold the stone quietly to her heart,
Whispering her thanks, admiring its soft colors.
Then she wanders to the pile guarded by Self-pity
And finds a small seedling, ready for planting.
“Brenda would know just where this one would grow,”
She says and brings it to you.
“Do you think you could get it to her?”
You nod and Hope is joined by Delight.
These are the better angels of my nature.
In their hands, and yours, my project is transformed.
I thought it was a do-it-yourself kit.
All these pieces scattered across my table
Are but signs of your abundance,
An invitation to do-it-together.
You did, of course.
And, when I make room,
I do, too.