Friday, February 17, 2012

Survival in the aftermath

After the dust begins to settle

there are moments of random silence.

In these quiet moments, I sit amongst the rubble

and begin the painstaking task.

I begin to sift through the ashes, through the pieces ripped and torn,

through the rough and jagged edges.

I touch every scarred surface with cautious hands

I feel every new texture that has redefined its being.

Everything came so hard and so fast

a complete collapse of the entire structure.

A devastating collapse of the stability and the safe haven

of all that existed within these sacred walls.

Now sitting here on the ground, laying broken things out before me

I can begin to see the way that these shattered pieces once fit.

I can see where the shapes and patterns existed 

and how they were woven together to create something whole.

When they are laid out like this, these shattered pieces

each begin to tell their own tale.

As they become separate beings unto themselves

their stories become more than the sum of their parts.

 Everything becomes visible, everything becomes clear

and everything overlooked suddenly demands attention.

Everything that was collected and put away for later

has finally been given it due.

The discoveries are hard and ugly and as the dust and dirt

are slowly swept away to reveal the secrets below.

The realizations of what lies beneath

strike with the fury of the initial shock.

Things seem so clear now as the pieces are put back together

as the broken thread is weaved back into the fabric of this thing.

I see all of things that I let slip by, all of the things that I ignored

as I simply grasped at trying to survive.

Here I see the repercussions of those actions

of trying to let the moment preserve my existence.

The warnings, the threats, the answers were there and I had them

I simply could not see them in the face of the impending doom.

The answers, the choices, decisions I didn’t make

are loud and brightly colored in this safe and quiet place.

I see it all so clearly now and can recite it verbatim

like the words of a song that I have known for all of time.

I sing it slowly and softly like a lullaby or a hymn.

I sing it in memory of the fallen

of the characters who fill the pages of this tale.

I hold it close to my heart and in my memory

I remember all of the reasons.

I carve them into myself as reminders

so this will never happen again.


  1. So many folk are heroes it sometimes seems invidious to pick some out. Great poem.

  2. quite the journey andrea in your words, there is quite a bit going on but there are def some things that you dont forget so that it def does not happen again....nice dance in your words....

    1. thanks Brian, you are always so supportive

  3. Wow! This is a brilliantly deep and meaningful piece that could be the aftermath of a natural disaster, a love lost or even life in general. Stunning and deep! I am in awe!

  4. Agree with Charles. This is a very moving piece that describes "aftermath" as it comes in so many different moments of collapse.

    AGH! This is Manicddaily from

    Something is wrong with blogger lately that it will not accept wordpress comments easily. I have an old blogger blog so using that. (I don't use that blog.) .

  5. Read this on the physical level--an earthquake (I live in earthquake country), but even more so as metaphor of how we reconstruct our lives...all of us in one way or another.