After the Eye Passed Karen Cline-Tardiff Poetry

local_library After the Eye Passed

by Karen Cline-Tardiff

Published in Issue No. 253 ~ June, 2018

I don’t have a right to it. All of these things swirling around in my head. None of it is my truth. The facts are I ran away. My return was not prodigal. There was no fanfare. There was no deep Awakening in my psyche. It was a rain-soaked drive, yelling over the 6 line power pole, turning back when I should have come forward.

The truth is I reclined in luxury. Stayed at a friend’s in an empty room, watch a DVD, took a shitty shower. Got more than a little drunk, a little inconvenience by a hangover, then drove back home again.

I wasn’t ready for any of it. My guts clenched, my shame palpable. Where was I? When the forces of Harvey wreaked through the roof, tore down the sheetrock, erased so many months of careful remodeling and sweat. Sweat. As if I did something heroic. As if I knew Heat. I couldn’t deal with it. Not so personal. Not so close. Not so real. Easier to deal with other people’s problems. Easier to help them pull brush and trees from their yard. Easier to put a tarp on their roof. The coward inside of me helping others so I could help myself to a moment away from my reality.

I sit in this stink; I sit in my sweat, no more neighbors to help, no more white horses to ride upon. I refuse to ask for help. It’s too personal. Strangers in my shit. Looking at my pictures. Seeing my sheets, throwing out my moldy pillows. Better to let the raccoons have at it. Better to take too long. Better to let my shame stay hidden.

Better to let this tragedy be played out backstage, no actors, no sound, no lights.

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Karen has been writing as long as she can remember. Published in a few places, a digital e-book, and an anthology. She resides in South Texas and has a family and a few friends.