Everything must be chewed and digested

You remember
many times
In the back seat of a car
Holding your whole world
In a paper bag
In your lap

No idea where
You are going
Just knowing
You have to get away

You begin to fold
And refold
Creating layers of protection
Nothing but skin and innocence

The day comes
When you look at your parent
With the grave realization that
They are lost and
You do not have a net

You become more pragmatic
Than devout

Rubbing your own hope
Into your face
With the dry heels of your small hands

You explore
This new country
In which you now live

There is no vacation
From the irrational vigilance

That has no object
And grants no power

You trade away intimacy
For control

Finding warmth in the friction of relationships
Built past the childhood taken

You navigate
The jagged rocks

A world that would benefit
From hands that would do better to be idle

And it comes

A faint chant
Rising in volume
A sound devoid of pity

Finding residual illumination
From the refuse you are granted

Finding what no one wants
And creating a delicacy

Rick Christiansen has been a stand-up comic, actor, director, and corporate executive. He is published in Oddball Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Raven’s Perch, Stone Poetry Journal, The Rye Whiskey Review, WINK Magazine and several poetry anthologies. Rick lives in Missouri near his eight grandchildren and with his basset hound, Annie.