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Grateful More for the Burn Than the Crash

A poem about how a certain kind of hurting can heal

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

One Hundred Days of Gratitude. Fifteen.

After the impact
and the meshing of meat and bone and hurt and home and
the fear and unknown and

then, only then, comes the beast of burning.
The flame that licks, spits, and sustains
itself on the wreckage
of your love and personality and pain and
yes, it’s hard to be thankful
for the flame.

But force can’t cauterize
and time only heals when it isn’t infected and
so, hands still burning
after two years
I push them together and at least attempt to pray
and give thanks
for the fire — that still burns,
though less intensely today.

Callused and scarred and a little charred and
still standing
stitches and sutures falling out on their own, one by one.

Almost done, and almost demanding and
almost admitting
that I’d still be bleeding
If it wasn’t for the burn.

Grateful to learn
to be thankful
for the flame.




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