Friends and Words Series III – Holy City

The third and final piece in this series comes from my good friend Millicent. The piece expresses how people can have different experiences of the same situation. It is a poem about embracing the experiences of others and validating them despite their difference from ours. It visits the ‘damaged’ among us and seeks to find how they got there and how having the right support system can change everything. I hope you enjoy the read

Holy City

When I tell the story now
I do so with the indifference only an old woman who has seen too much by now can be forgiven for
What I mean is I do not forgive myself,
For not doing justice to the space you left behind
I thought of growing flowers in it
I bought them but it was not long before I sat down and saw the hem of the thought I knew lay in the back of my mind somewhere all along
And when I pulled it closer to places in my mind that I visit more often I knew I was right
Lillies cannot pay tribute to your avalanche.
Did you know about broken ciggarettes?
Of broken dirty things you would never touch?
Not to the Holy of you !
But mostly because you did not see how two broken things would heal each other.
Did you know there are people whose bones were made with crevices where broken things can live
Who know broken things kill but they are still the only things they reach for at 3am when their broken places hurt
They place the broken things slowly on their broken places and listen carefully to the two old friends sing an old song
They shake their hands after the song and silently courtsey and the other pushes aside to create room for the other
The song leaves an echo that feels like a slap
Like heavy pounding
Bt they know it all dies down
So they wait for the short period they will know peace
As broke nurses broke
Even if we all know that these kinds of truces do not last
Do we not at least owe it the people who are broken in diffrent ways than us to stop trying to fit their kind of crevices in our own
If we want to create a Holy city out of this pain
Can we not at least start  by creating a shrine of its source?
Did you know that just because you are broken does not mean when your friend says it hurts you can say ‘I know how it feels”?
Will you leave with the peace of not knowing? Of trying to truly find out?
Of knowing the kind of pain that can kill a person fast is the kind that people have reduced into an ” I know it too” kind of cliche
Will you admit that you did not grow flowers in your broken places because flowers have never done justice to hurricanes
And that if today, in this person, you have met a hurricane.the best gift you can be to them is to not be a flower.

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