“Unsettled Accounts” by Tami Boehle-Satterfield


These days, in the Great Space
Between a rock and a hard place.
It is a heavy reckoning,
This settling of accounts.
Combing the bottom line.
For the sum of the aggregate.
The Last Judgement has been coming for a stone age.

It is heavy lifting, moving these sedimentary rocks –
The bed you made to lie in.
But rocks don’t lie
And all my digging can’t unearth anything but shale.
By day’s end, I may go mad trying.
I feel I am going to break apart.

This excavation has me ruined.
Picked apart.
Fragmented, I counsel myself,
But it is not okay. It is n o t okay.
Splitting open a like a canyon,
Narrow at first,
So I can hardly notice the separation.

Slowly, the remains of a good night’s sleep divide over days
And collect into a pile of pebbles –
Stories about babies and kittens buried in deep rubble.
My head becomes a hot, thick slab under pressure.
There is the grinding sound of crushed stone.
Something doesn’t feel right in my chest.
Dead weight.

The last boulder piled on,
Under pressure, rock-hard and heavy.
Then, the bone splitting, cracked, busted wide open.
And before you can shovel it in
The lies surface like rocks in the dirt after a long storm,
Perils of this broken foundation.
And for the first time, I see how it all adds up.

April 2013

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