Touch: The Journal of Healing




    by Elizabeth Landrum

like a patient mother waits

while I dress for the funeral

of my indignation.

Slowly, I bind my thighs

in thick black tights,

tie and re-tie

the worn woolen scarf, snug

around my neck,

carefully place on my face

dark glasses that will hide

my acrid tears.

I reach for the doorknob;

my stiffened fingers freeze;

I am not ready.

For I am spent,

my reserves all gone

to purge old memories,

then gathering more

to fill the void.

I am not ready

to push wide

the door.

I turn around and run

into my reflection,

stunned, wondering

if I hold the grudge or if

the grudge holds me.

Still afraid

to trade the grip

of satisfaction for

one more promise

and a handshake,

I lean into the hallway,

feel that benign

maternal presence

patiently waiting...

© 2013  Elizabeth Landrum

Elizabeth Landrum, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist from Lousiville, KY, who recently retired to the San Juan Islands where she shares a new home with her wife and two dogs.  She is at last finding time to write and to reflect on the work she did for 30 years, counseling people living with losses, cancer, and other life-changing illnesses.  Her own life has been touched and altered by the cancers and deaths she has experienced in her immediate family and by the incredible resilience she has witnessed in clients she supported through their journeys of grief and illness.

Copyright © 2013

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.