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Broken Strands into New Fabric

by Glenn Currier


She paints him coarse-grained
in thick strokes of stupid and blunt.
Does she distort his lines to fit her hurt
warp and corrupt his motives
wrap his mind in black crepe
fell timbers in his dying forest?

What luminescent days in bed
with scents of her skin and hair
what hours of painting rooms with her
and days of attending his illness
has he forgotten?

Freed from the norms
and habits of wedlock,
her pulse quickens
loins of new love
and its adventures
crisp in her wet recall.

From the flashing heights
of freedom and thought of fresh life—
suddenly they plummet:
hands sweat,
lungs like raw lumber
barely breathe.

Reefy with fear
arteries clog in legs heavy
with the millstone of uncertainty.

They can hardly move.

I listen seemingly impassive
to the weeping story
of his lawyer's call
to talk market values—
while her eyes traverse
the history of their family—
Timmy's crayola house,
grandma's cedar chest
and the ceiling furrowed
by a too-tall Christmas tree.

I wonder to myself
how I can help this lost couple
extract the thimble of possibility
needed to remove them
from the swamp of their past.
How can I serve
their reach into the soul
necessary to create a future?


I see my merry-go-round day
with Mom and Dad giggling with me.
I feel their fingers in my hair,
hear "Billie Goats Gruff"
"Our father who art in heaven"
and how hallowed was my place
in the crook of their arms.

My sadness at their dis-membering
and the profanity of their forgetting
hides behind my facial composure.

At times the tears
born of their child's wounds
in this bitter battle
threaten to flood
the boundaries of my reason
merging the fluids of my heart
into their raging tempest.

Am I but referee
in this fight
of their ten year century?
What light might I pry
from their darkness,
what gap can I coax
through the armored alloy
of their debate?

I remind myself
of past victories
of couples who vanquished their pride
and harvested the kernels of creativity
required to fashion a new life.

I remind myself
"This is their journey
and it is my honor
to accompany them,
to focus the spirit
that connects us,
to cast light here and there,
to ask, to listen, to hear
to read their scripture.

This is a sacred journey
beyond my control
and I am here to help them
re-member and weave
from the broken strands of their past
a fabric tough and alive
and green with their choice.

04/19/2004

Author's Note: Reflections of a divorce mediator...

Posted on 04/19/2004
Copyright © 2019 Glenn Currier

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Heide McAlister-Bates on 04/19/04 at 04:16 PM

Thanks you for this insight into what must be, at times, a heart-wrenching profession. Great imagery - a lovingly crafted piece.

Posted by Cathlyn Cartier on 04/19/04 at 04:47 PM

The conflict is well presented here. Wonderfully done and great insights for all.

Posted by David R Spellman on 04/19/04 at 07:12 PM

This should be read by all counselors and those navigating the troubled waters of discord and divorce. Cudos to you for the writing and living of this!

Posted by Maureen Glaude on 04/20/04 at 12:34 PM

absolutely gut-wrenching and stunning. The colors and set-up very effective, though the poem is so strong it will stand fine alone too. I like the visual effect though. Everything is perfect, from the inclusion of clots, etc. the analogies and the memories, the impact on the son, etc. It makes parents in later years really stop and think as hard as they can, if they're thinking of divorce, as no matter how old their kids are, it tears them up. You show how and what it seems to say and unsay to the family. Blessings.

Posted by Ashok Sharda on 04/21/04 at 02:49 AM

Well, Playing the role of a RECONCILING FORCE isn't a easy job since nothing can happen unless the other two forces, the ACTIVE and the PASSIVE meets in this RECOCILING FORCE. The problem is intricate when both decide to play ACTIVE. In the absence of the passive factor the intended happening doesn't take place. 'This is a sacred journey beyond my control and I am here to help them re-member and weave from the broken strands of their past' Yes, to help them to erase their past in order to erase the past of the other.

Posted by JD Clay on 05/07/04 at 12:41 PM

Your reflective message is one of agonization, made up of incompliant participants in an egocentric society. It has become all too commonplace and is surely the downfall of mankind. The way things are going, I wouldn't be suprised if the pharmaseutical companies came up with a divorce pill to fix the whole mess and restore things back to normal. Until then, thank goodness we have concerned and caring turtlesouls like you to shed some light on the ones that still hold a glimmer of hope to cope. Masterfuly scripted, Glenn. pe4ce...

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