Poem 7 – “Happily Ever After”

“Happily ever after”;
That’s how I thought the story would go,
Especially when I moved across the country
And ransacked the life that I had
For the one I expected.

Now, reality with its cold and unpredictable turns
Has set a new course for me.
So far, it’s just a trail of tears.
I cannot see what direction the path leads
Nor how to avoid the pitfalls.

For now, all I know is the sadness:
Deep grief that feels like the base
Of a pit
With nowhere to fall and nowhere to run.

There’s a part of me that
Wants to turn the grief into
Remorse about the past or
Fear for my future.
Mysteriously, when I bring up these thoughts,
All I can still feel is the grief.

It has tendrils out into every aspect of my life
And of my being.
I cannot find a single thing that is not affected.
My job, my art, my intestines, the area around my eyes and temples, the motivation or lack thereof about every single task, and my self-respect or lack thereof.
And each of these feels like a mundane example of the overarching grip of this affect.

I search in vain to find the spark of gratitude or joy.
They seem eradicated or at least walled-off by the grief.
I can only hope and pray that someday it will not be so.
Yet for now, it is, and I must set my mind to
Thoughts of “being with” this grief
Rather than trying to escape its clutches.

Let me breathe into that reality and drink in its bitter wine,
Fermented in this pit of fearful sadness.

~ Copyright © 2010, 2019 by Stan Stewart and muz4now, inc. All rights reserved.

Please note that this is not a current poem. It was written many years ago when I was going through a period of transition. I share it now simply because it is part of my life story and the poem has some memorable poetic moments. May those who continue to struggle and grieve find strength in art.