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The Heart’s Underground

Today’s challenge at d’Verse Poets is to write a poem about the underground.  Here is my humble offering.

Paying bills and feeding
the cats and the kid–
doing it all–work and school,
just like I’m supposed to do.
Losing myself in the process,
sinking into the heart’s underground.

Working through the day
respectable, clean-cut and clever,
climbing the corporate ladder
doing the grind of nine to five
and another on the weekend
just like I’m supposed to.

Five o’clock signals the change–
rush to the dark and safe
escape of a bar stool and beer,
numbing the pain and guilt
and the hurt of feeling guilt,
never truly doing what I’m supposed to.

Guilt, hate, and pain co-mingle,
dancing in the chambers of my heart
destroying relationships and self–
unable to pull away like I’m supposed to
and truly be there for the ones I love,
to face the pain to forgive myself.

Forgiveness of an imperfect human,
loving and caring that turns
to bitter tears of self-loathing.
Alcohol induced numbing–
How can I do what I’m supposed to
and nurture and love through the pain?

How can I make them spend time with me
when I can’t stand to be around myself?
Isolated, alone, trapped within those
four chambers, the underground of my heart.
Not knowing how to walk through the
concrete walls of addiction in order
to do what I’m supposed to do.

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5 thoughts on “The Heart’s Underground

  1. Nothing humble about this offering Teresa. This has a profound feel to it. Truth that bites. The repeating ‘supposed to’ refrain is dynamite.This is a really excellent response to the prompt. I have been to this underground of the heart. It ain’t pretty.

  2. I liked the descriptive phrase “concrete walls of addiction”. It emphasizes the sense that this is a prison. I think Sherry has good advice if this is about you. Best wishes.

  3. Your voice is so authentic. One is expected to do the impossible, BE the impossible, it is a hard journey. I hear the distress over the numbing coping mechanism. As a single mom of four who made it through, I send the narrator a lifeline: it can and does get better, we can and do get better, life can be all we ever dreamed, and it starts to be that right where the narrator is sitting now. She keeps on keeping on, with courage and hope, and the way becomes ever more clear. This was a very meaningful read. Thank you for sharing it.

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