This Is How It Happens

Cherubic and reeking
grief’s pallor heavy
he comes to me

Of course, he does
I am schooled in compassion
seldom flinch at raw pain

I attend to the wounds
listen; reassure
but I am weary

My own sorrow unattended
loss and betrayal an inner bleed
know I have only so much to give

But he is not alone,
there is another
a mere child…

Cherubic and reeking
grief’s pallor heavy
he comes to me

Of course he does
and I will sign on to stay…
schooled in the art of compassion.

(The stories that come to us in the dreamtime, often celebrate anniversaries. Years ago, I was in a cycle of abusive relationships, culminating with the one represented in the poem. We met on New Year’s Eve. My son, then early teens, remarked to me that I always chose relationships that asked a lot of me but seldom gave in return. While I laughed it off in the moment, his words remained with me, especially as this man also betrayed me with another. It was the turning point I needed to do some real soul-searching.)

Image my own.

Published by


Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

28 thoughts on “This Is How It Happens”

  1. I am super grateful for the footnote on this one. It definitely felt dreamlike. Often kids are the best seers of situations. I really like your work. Lots of love to you and best wishes for a hail and hearty 2021. 🙏💗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Me too, Betty. Wasn’t certain about that wording but it is exactly what drew me in – his boyish vulnerability and at the same time I could smell his grief. Exact combination to trigger the rescuer in me. Thanks.


  2. From the mouths of babes …
    My pre-teen son told me one day in the kitchen what I should look for in a man (had been single several years and I think his point was: find a man) – I grabbed my grocery list pad and wrote down his specifications. I don’t recall all the list, but last was “looks don’t matter”. Years later I met my current husband and took note when my son gave a definitive thumbs-up. (Looks are a plus.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my GOD. The poem is brilliant! But what you have shared just went right into me. I am exactly like you. Though I have only ever had one relationship, which was abusive and still is, to some extent. But, like you, I give and give and give to others, and get no return, though I do not do it for return. Yoyr post has really hit home to me, for I have just been considering what to do in the New Year. Yet,cwhat IS there to do, now? 71 and badly dusabled! Yet we share a house, that is oyr own, together. I know tgere are answers, just not sure what, yet lol. It will, I am sure, become clearer!

    Thankyou for your deeply honest post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are so welcome. Sorry to hear you are in a bad situation. Your story reminds me of my Mom. She was in a bad situation with no where to go. Assertiveness training helped her to stand up for herself and in the end, did make her life more palatable. Take care.


Comments are closed.