Monday, March 24, 2014


The snow kept falling and ice seized as

winter pressed dark and hard 

Exhaustion mounted 

layered high as the banks of a deep river

draining your strength, dry.

Though no consolation, some say there is beauty in the breakdown

and that great movement is gained the deeper you go.

I know. 

you didn't ask to go.  had

no desire to carry the world on the slate of your back

begging for slack.

would suffering slough off, peel away, shift into freedom


I will not say that your shattered world will make you stronger

I will not impose meaning where there may be none

I will just say that structure will return

that all possibilities are fleeting

that the water will become clear again, though leave a heavy trace.

Take no ownership of this trial

put your head on my shoulder and cry, knowing 

when things fall apart

they fall back together, again, and we are left

to ask nothing, but why.


  1. I LOVE to ski this river trail. Gorgeous play of words and images- just stunning. Thank you Monica -- for today's breathing.

    1. Yes, and you see something different on the trail every time, if you walk slowly. Thank you, Kaylene.

  2. Oooohhhhhh shattered and brand new. xoxoox S

  3. The first and last photos are the sort that I can't stop looking at. I suspect I know several people who would be touched and relieved to hear your words, too -- feeling crushed as they are by this interminable, freezing winter.

    And there are echoes, too, of Chinua Achebe's novel, "Things Fall Apart". I hardly can believe that was written in 1958. I'm glad to remember it, and to read this, today.

  4. Oh my. Achebe's novel is one of my all-time favorites. I read it in the early 70's and it stuck with me for years. In fact, one of my essays in a body of work I am currently working on is titled "Things Fall Apart" and it is about the cultural erosion of Yup'ik Eskimos here in Alaska. Thank you for your comments. I'm amazed at how very often my thinking clicks with yours.

  5. I'm drawn to 'sanctuary' as a word, a concept, etc. and it brings a bittersweet warmth to the ache at the heart of this image-rich poem.