Cry a Little 2

RETURN

The past left scars:
Automatic responses
To traumatic events
I could not control.
The events of my past
Have long since ceased
But reactions learned
To survive those times
Continue to interfere.
Through years of difficult
(And often painful)
Ever changing therapy;
I learned to put aside
Most of those old responses
Being just myself,
With no hidden traps,
Open and straight forward,
Is unacceptable to you.
And now I am being forced
To return to an old lifestyle
Because the new behaviors
Somehow threaten you.

                  Kathi Phillips

SITTING

I sit here with chores to do
But leave them all undone.
I rise from my chair to start
But sit back down again;
I look around the room and see
The things that need attention.
Again I stand, move to the kitchen
Where dishes are unwashed.
Then I recall the unmade bed,
The dusty shelves and sandy floors–
Overpowered by my thoughts
I do no work and watch TV;
Overwhelmed by repetition
And feelings I can’t change
I sit here thinking of the chores
But lack the energy to do them.
I just can’t motivate myself
o do what must be done.
And as the chores increase in number
My energy sinks to zero.

                          Kathi Phillips

TENSION

I’m feeling now some tension,
Being pulled in two directions:
In strength by faith to stand,
Or to hide my head in sand.
I find I can’t decide
To stay or run and hide.
Opposites of choice
Take away my voice
To state just what I feel–
So in prayer I will kneel
To ask once more of you:
My faith and strength renew
To stand above the tension
That pulls in both directions.

                  Kathi Phillips

CANCER OF THE MIND

Like a malignant cancer,
Depression grows and grows
Until it destroys
The truth that is
Who we really are.
Life is now seen
Through a cancerous mind
That hurts and destroys
>All it touches each moment
We continue to live.
But there is a therapy
That can eliminate
All cancer from our minds.
It is found
In the gentle words
Constantly repeated
That wipe out
Those falsehoods
We see as reality.
Words like:
I love you.
We can ride this out together.
I’m here to listen.
You are important to me.
You’re not alone.
Oft repeated every day
By those we call
Friends and family.

          Kathi Phillips

LOCKED IN

I’m locked in a jail
That can’t be seen,
Trapped in a prison
That has no bars:
Life is a night sky
Showing no stars,
Or new mown grass
No longer green.

        Kathi Phillips

ONCE IS ENOUGH

We try to plan our lives
Far into future days.
We figure this,
And count on that
Hoping dreams come true.

As each day passes
We look ahead
Forgetting what has been.
We count on this
And figure that
As dreams collapse too fast.

We figure once
And count again
As finally we learn
Life is surely long enough
To live each day but once.

                Kathi Phillips

OLD TAPES

As a child I heard
Often said of me
Many things I thought true
Repeated so much
I soon believed
Their lies reality.
Then one day (at thirty-five)
Someone pointed out
That my truths were false.
Now I can recall,
If constantly reminded,
Today’s reality.
But when there’s no one
To repeat newfound truths,
The old tapes replay too loud
And soon I hear again,
Playing in my head,
Those old childhood lies.

            Kathi Phillips