I am ashamed at how messy my life is becoming.

I cleaned the drawers, ordered dividers, intent on making it neat, I

have been absolutely convinced that I, we, were rounding the corner

to sanitation.

Order and calm so cool and convincing I was already placing

my face on that cold side of the pillow, relieved, welcomed, ready to lay

it all down that this was all for something.

See? Do you see it right there?

There is the proof for all that suffering and wondering in the desert and

crying in the shower. It’s right there. I wanted to measure it.

And then John broke his leg, tore his ligaments, his fracture a spiral of bone

and shattering bits.

And here I am again. Begging for help. On my knees, humbly requesting of others

to feed my children, to give me space to breathe, I asked for assistance with the house

and food and I felt my cheeks purple.

Shame and rage, so interesting how they hold hands.

I want to stand on my own two feet and I get the sense I’m getting toppled.

Head over feet, feet over head.

Rolling and rumbling and sinking in the earth.

Help me.

Mess is not a gracious guest, she tells me this story, the kernel of it steeped in

growing up poor, dirty, less than.

I clawed and I chucked and I tucked in my corners and I said,

nope, not me, not my children.

A police officer won’t look at my kids like he did to me that winter day, with disdain, with blame, with justification.

I looked a mess, my father looked a mess, and our trailer was full of dirt and grime and violence.

Not me, not me again, I won’t be caught with the trash and the disorder, I won’t be looked at with

righteousness, I won’t be caught unaware.

And I clothed myself with protection, it came in the form of degrees and business cards and retirement planning.

It came in the way of marriage and children and therapy, it formed and it cooled and truth be told,

I never felt truly protected.

It was a mold just ready to break at any moment,

with the slightest bit of pressure,

with the tiniest whisper of a breeze.

Life huffed and puffed and it blew my protection down.

I feel a mess, I feel a mess and the world knows it now.

And I can’t tell if I’m pissed at the world or myself.

I know she’s a little tired of being blamed, this line is coming up short, it’s not computing in the way it has before.

I feel a mess, the house is feeling a mess, the children are needy and clingy,

John is setting up to heal again.

We are healing again, it’s so tangible it bursts a bubble of laughter in my throat.

I was not made in fire to be clean.

She wrinkled her nose and said you smell like outside and a little voice in my head said, how glorious. How utterly divine to smell of wind and grass and trees.

There is smoke and dirt on my clothes,

my soles are blackened and cracking from the mileage, the world should be a little scared that I’m walking a bit straighter.

A stiff trickle of belief,

she is getting dangerous in her mess.