Sucking on Denial: Five Poems

We suck on denial like we are trying to resuscitate a dead body, praying life will return to it.  Nothing comes, but we keep inhaling it anyway because the alternative is too painful to bear.


“I don’t want to talk about it!”  the preteen cries.

“Rainbows and Unicorns! Rainbows and Unicorns! Lalalalala!

I don’t want to talk about it!”  Flailing on the bed, she hides her head in her pillow.

“But we need to talk about it” the mother insists.

“We need to make sure you have things packed in your backpack,

just in case

something happens.”

“What’s going to happen?!

It’s not going to happen!” says the voice from inside muffled pillow.

“Ugh…..It’s not FAIR!” 

“It’s life. It’s happens to everybody.”



“The doctor visit did not go well. They are going to stop chemo.  There is nothing more we can do. They say it’s time to call in hospice.”

“We don’t need hospice,

                                     I can take care of you.”

“There is so much to do.

                                   I want you to be o.k. before I go. Everything has to be in order.”

“We will talk about it tomorrow…

                                     Can you eat something?”

“I  have no appetite.”

                                      “Neither have I.”


We are going to have to decide what to do about Mom.

She’s fine.

She’s not fine.

She’s fine.

Dad, she got lost in the grocery store.

That happens.

Not every week, Dad.

She’s fine.

Dad, you can’t take care of her.

Yes I can.

I’m worried about you both.

Don’t worry.

We are fine.

She’s fine.



Dude, get out of bed. It’s 12:30 in the afternoon.

What’s wrong with you?



Please don’t leave.

There is nothing more to say.

Will you be back?


Maybe I will see you tomorrow

How do we replace denial with acceptance?

What courage is required?

What peace must be known?

What hope must be seen?

What prayer must we say?

Give us the strength to  accept the truth of our lives. Give us the courage to accept the story that is our life. Not as we want it to be told, but as it is written.  Let our stories be real and authentic, raw and painful, beautiful and organic.  Let our stories come from tears and loss, triumph and truth.  Let us not feel shame in our failures, but feel strength in our perseverance.  Let us breathe in truth of who we are and where we are and what we are, so that we may become what we are to be.

michigan lake sunset



1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s