learning to live with scars
not covering them up with tattoos
not rubbing vitamin E into them
night after night after night
but hanging with them
like cracks in ancient walls
like crumbling steps to heaven.
I count my scars over and over
I share one with my father
he has other children now
perhaps grandchildren too
I'll never know.
I share one with my mother
her mother died
she sorted through men
some good some bad.
I'm covered in little cuts
like walking through a glass door
I saw that happen once
a drunk man walked through the lobby door
and fell down
not getting back up
I get back up
sometimes I need a hand
sometimes I just climb up the wall
sometimes I roll until I'm far away.
I'm far away.
I know it's not about being happy.
Happy is a mood.
It's about having a purpose
like teaching my son to drive a car
or my dog to give me kisses
or clearing a shelf for more records.
It's about being content
like laying in the sun
or sucking bee nectar
or picking polish from my nails.
It’s about a sense of fulfillment
like cooking dinner for a wedding
or cleaning up a crack house for my parents
or driving to San Francisco to meet my daughter in laws mother.
It's about gratification
like the smile on my husbands face
when I tell him he's cute
or sunset shots in the jacuzzi
or fresh tuberose in a cobalt vase.
It’s about satisfaction in accomplishment
like finishing writing a book
or planting arugula in a raised box
or washing off the red dirt.
It's not about being happy.
It's never been about that.