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Like Old Men in Rocking Chairs
by
 Cherie Burbach

Angry words
framed the doorway
of the house where I grew up.
And there was no way to enter
without those words, 
tainted and searing,
landing upon your soul.

They evaporated
into your skin
and you couldn't wash them away
or cover them
with the fragrance of kindness.

They embedded each cell
of your heart and mind
and shaped the person you saw
when you looked into the mirror.
And the tears
that tried to wash them away
only made them grow.

And when I thought
they had left me,
they were really sitting in the corner
like old men in rocking chairs
watching, waiting,
until happiness fades
and they can say
I told you so.



With Every Breath

With every breath
the example of his life
fills my eyes and ears

it is
behind every action
ahead
of every decision
it waits
around every corner
it lights
up the sky
in the morning
and
puts me to bed at night.

It fills my lungs
it guides my life
it weighs in on every decision.

I breathe in
the progress of today
the promise of tomorrow
my life transformed
my greatest lesson.

I breathe out
the self-doubt
the anger
the isolation
the pain.

With every breath,
I live.


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