How To Defeat Demons
You can’t see them, but you know
they are there, waiting, whispering.
They surround you when you sleep.
Follow you throughout the day.
Sometimes you shiver, wondering
what they’re saying about you.
Are they pointing at a pimple?
Snickering at your words?
Here’s how to defeat them.
Sprinkle ashes around your bed.
In the morning, you’ll see footprints.
Tiny three-toed tracks. Quite small
beside your own two feet.
You have the evidence now.
Go on your way with sturdy steps.
Knowing you are bigger
than any demon you imagine.
He asked how long
as if we were talking about a broken bone,
expected to heal in 6 to 8 weeks.
How long? Before I didn’t feel like a fish
dangling from a hook, gasping for breath.
Before you felt like yourself again,
he clarified, as if the person I once was
still recognized the person I am now.
He wanted me to give him an end point,
like the vernal equinox, a date on the calendar
when the light would grow longer each day.
Pausing to answer, I realized I couldn’t recall
exactly how long it had been since I knelt on the floor,
hugging my waist, screaming for grief to end.
Five years? Or six?
It doesn’t feel that long.
A storm with a name we might remember
years from now, like Katrina or Sandy,
gathers strength in the Caribbean Sea.
Satellites and scientists are busy
taking measurements, tracking paths.
A turn west endangers one coast.
A turn north threatens another.
But please note, The Weather Channel warns:
Five days is too far out to predict much.
Models show what may not materialize.
Who knows? Who knows? Who knows?
will always howl across the land
at a hundred miles an hour.
The best you can do
is lash yourself to a tree
and be grateful you have
something to hug
as you watch majestic waves
roil up and down with the wind.