David Howard CC
A Room Too Small
I don’t remember the sun on my skin.
There were no last wishes.
Nothing was supposed to be final yet.
The urn selected/its home,
Someone said it would be heavy after.
The door creaked. Its knob ached/ as it turned
to a room not vast enough/ for all my sorrow.
Time froze/escape closed behind me/ pulling all oxygen out with it.
The room - no bigger than a closet.
There were no flowers to comfort/no chair to sit with my grief/
I didn’t notice tissues/sitting on a table.
There was a window/the curtain on the other side.
Nothing under my control,
the room was considerate/ in its consciousness.
Someone out of reach drew drapes revealed my dad
on a table/ scratchy/ starched sheet at his chest offered
He looked cold; I had no blanket to give. He should be sleeping
in his favorite chair/ this room, this senseless --small room
full of silence. Not his snores/ I could hear my hands tremble.
I stared, anchored to regret /willing him
to be miraculous/not
I was only a pebble when my mom called me her rock;
as we buried ours.
Rocks crumble when the earth quakes
Rubble left in the wake
The strength of my family
turned gravel then sand
sifted through hands reached out
once anchored in love.
Being a rock felt like being thrown through windows
everywhere I stepped--glass shards
in a quarry of sorrow.
My father collected rocks, sorted, arranged them
to lean on each other
building a future, a community.
You see, rocks must live together,
that’s why you see them in piles.
Laying in river beds shaping the world
Creating mountains together.
Some rocks are worn on fingers
around necks to glitter and dazzle
cherished for their beauty.
Others must be cracked open to reveal a
Certain rocks are created with intense force
pressure folded and crushed
into a metamorphic form of what they were before,
part of the original but
I didn’t know what kind of rock to be for her.
Was I meant to build something new for us
or roll away? Did she need me soft and smooth laying quietly;
or hard and jagged like flint?
Inside I was shattered into a million pieces.
I wasn’t ready to be a rock,
I felt like a grain of sand
I was just a person being strong
because someone told me I was
and I wanted to believe it too.
Heather Pease is a Poet focusing on work centering on feminism, sexuality, identity, culture, mental health, politics and domestic violence. Heather writes from her own experiences, aiming to give voice to vulnerability, making people think about subjects often stigmatized through society. She writes to empower others whose voices remain unheard. She lives in Orange County, CA.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.