Finding Feelings While Sweeping

Everybody hurts and everybody leaves –
My mantra for years.
Seems like every single person did one or the other
or both.
I’ve forgiven all but one
whose actions were
and put that mantra aside.

I let my heart turn shadowy and cool –
And then I let it bloom again.

The detritus of winter piles around my ankles.
I scrape it out of corners and over bricks
Trying to make order out of chaos
Trying to set a stage for summer
Trying to create space that soothes.

Rake and sweep and pile,
Over and over again,
With the occasional machete slash
At some particularly stubborn weed
Or some particularly stubborn thought
Or some particularly stubborn memory.

Reminding myself that the past is past,
That loss isn’t only painted in one color,
That it’s not all about me
That I haven’t failed
And that home can still exist
And a heart can still be true
Even under all the dead leaves.