Tag Archives: recovery

Whooping Crane

Your strong and gentle arm is broken
and encased in a white canvas
begging for autographs
and scribbled wishes for recovery—
or art that could turn your fingers
into the beak of a whooping crane—
but you are not the kind of man
who likes attention
drawn to the shape of your injuries—
and you wouldn’t want to become
a whooping crane as suggested
by the woman you used to love
because you don’t need to be reminded
for the next four weeks that you’ve spent
sixteen years healing from that fall—
from that terrible and painful break.







Photo credit: public domain

Stupid Little Hearts

Our hearts
are just these ugly things
that beat inside our chests
unaware that they are
merely an engine
that powers the body
that encases them—
it’s the whole body
with its weight
and height and mass
that knows the spectrum
of life and love and loss—
and it isn’t the heart
that’s left empty
after love commits its ruin—
it’s the hands,
with nothing to do
but hold on to each other
for comfort and company
as they remember
their capacity to feel—
if it were only the hearts
that lay broken after love
takes its leave,
we would recover quickly
as though we had
a skinned knee,
or a sprained ankle at worst—
No—it’s the entire body
that breaks
around our stupid little hearts—
those mindless cogs
pounding like the fist
of a madman who never stops
when we want them to.






Later in your life
after you’ve become
a closeted
functioning alcoholic
you realize
you’d been too hard
on all those folks
you knew to be dependent
on their loved ones
to make sense
of their happiness
and worth.
You’d been too hard
on everyone.
Even the dishes
waiting in the sink
tell you how much
trouble it is
to be so necessary
and so abused—
and you couldn’t agree
more unless
the comment came
from someone you loved
who was real
and sober—
and recovering from
the daunting chore
of giving up
the delusion
that they had it all
under some kind
of complete control.


DeMaris Gaunt


Nearly as bad
as the death of your child
is the promise
by other survivors
(other crushable mothers)
that there is a form
of recovery in your future.

It will always be
a tender wound, they tell you,
but it will scab over
and allow you short reprieves
where the pain is bearable
and even smiles can return
to the landscape
above your shoulders.

To entertain a future
without muddy shoes
running into the house
and all those messes
I hated to clean up
feels like a Gift of the Magi
gone terribly wrong.

A single joy
seems unimaginable
and undeserved,
but his abbreviated life was
was so large with love—
it’s pushing me against my will
to believe he wouldn’t want
my life to end with his.

DeMaris Gaunt