Poetry from Pain: Kelly Summers

we’ve been drifting apart

and i know we’re both ok with that

i used to cling to you

wrap my small hands around your wrists

lock my legs around yours

rooting you in place

preventing you from doing anything

and then accusing you of not moving

not trying hard enough

not being kind enough

i used to crawl behind you

scrape my hands and knees on all kinds of surfaces

breathing funny through my bent lungs

begging you for a crumb of mercy

hoping you’d find it in your heart to finally turn and look down on me

never seeing your hand swinging down beside you, open and hopeful for mine

i used to beg you on my knees

take this from me

make me better

heal my heart

take my sin

redo it all

and i was making it all up

i used to ask you a million questions

and then wait in silence and stillness

cold and alone

no action, no movement

accusing you of heartlessness

you must be deaf

you must not care

you must hate me

and then one day i woke up

and took a step back

to look at all the things i’d been asking you for my whole life

for the comfort i thought you withheld

for the guidance i never felt

for the courage and healing and change

all of these things that could not come from anywhere but within

so i took another step back

and turned to my left

and there,

a mirror

a journal

a picture

a first time of seeing myself

and then i knew

somehow you would never give me those things i wanted

but you were always giving them to me

through myself

we’ve been drifting apart

and i know we’re both ok with that

because i had put my life into the hands of someone else

and expected results from outside of myself

forgetting that the reason this body and spirit is joined as “me”

is for me and only me to determine what i will make of it all

and all the times i searched for you to guide me or tell me something to do

i was missing out on a chance for me to decide for myself

and to make my own life

not one that negates you

but one that moves alongside who you are

love

mercy

liberation

seeing and touching and loving people

not making much of myself but not erasing myself either

so i don’t cling to you anymore

begging you for what i already have in me

because i know that’s not what you want

you want me for who i am

not what someone else made of me

not even you.