Advocacy, Love, Poetry

the road to release: a poem

the road to release landscape cropped

the road to release

by punkie


i want to protect you mom.
i say. helpless.

what can you do?
she says. nothing.

i kneel before her,
so she can see me.

i love you mom,
i say.

i love you too,
she says.

a flood of despair spills from my eyes.
a single tear rolls down her cheek.

here we are.
trapped in a hallway.

i’m ripped to shreds.
she’s torn to pieces.
we’re both broken to bits.

minutes, hours,
days, months.
lifetimes go by.

why are we stuck in this place?
whose tragic plan is this?

i gag on double-bind silence,
hang a noose on a hook by the door.

some words demand to be written,
like some questions refuse to be answered.

with her release will come mine:
too little, too late, too bad.

and when all is still and dead,
we will sing once more.


© Susan Macaulay 2015. I invite you to share this link widely, but please do not reprint or reblog or copy and paste my poems into other social media without my permission. Thank you.

20 thoughts on “the road to release: a poem”

  1. Susan,

    Remarkable, haunting, gut wrenching truth. I wish you both peace and comfort as you travel this path together.

    Traveled that road too,


  2. How many times this suffering moment will happen – how many pieces can you be broken into? Endless and then over finally, one day. My heart is with you both, been through it all.


    1. Thanks Ann. I think it’s hard to imagine when we are suffering how much greater the suffering can be.

      Tonight I listened to an interview with a photojournalist who documents war zone “news.” She talked about taking pictures in hospitals in Somalia and Afghanistan where there were mothers and children dying by the dozens every week and they were lying in hallways with no hope of help.

      We are all in those hopeless hallways on the brink of death every day and then one day it comes and finally we are at peace.

      Thanks for your question and comment which made me cry. One of the greatest consolations is that we are not alone and that others who have gone before us witness our journey despite the pain it surely brings to the surface once again.

      Thank you and everyone else who follows our story ❤


  3. Susan, you are really amazing. That is a beautiful beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing that, and for sharing your journey. I go to your emails always with some eagerness because altho I will probably be reading something ‘sad’, I know how human and brave it will be.


    1. “…human and brave…”

      Yes. Those two things are probably the best I can hope to be.

      I’m so glad you keep reading. That in itself is an act of bravery. And it helps me. We are called to witness.

      Thanks too for your compliments, Ruthy. ❤


  4. Hey Susan
    I don’t always read your story; I am not comfortable in that hallway. My Mind doesn’t want to deal with it; but the other, deeper self that i can sometimes be sits with you and has compassion for the one who feels the desire to run, to see the end of it, to make sense of it, to be free. You can have that – but, instead, you choose something more; you choose to stay. You choose to love, and be transformed by it. Mind says this is anguish, this is ripping me to shreds this is. …. And still you show up, so is it true? The story is torture, the action (of turning up) is love. Who would you be without the story? I see Susan. Turning up because she is love in action; and that doesn’t mean to say she has to love it all the time. My turn will come; and I’ll have you as a role model. I hope this doesn’t sound preachy or spiritual – sending you bosies from Scotland x


    1. “…you choose something more; you choose to stay. You choose to love and be transformed by it.”

      Yes Lynne. You capture it fully. Yes to all of it, and no it doesn’t sound “preachy or spiritual.”

      It is real and true and written from the heart. Thank you for showing up and for speaking your truth. Our truth.

      I’m not comfortable in the hallway either. I’m grateful to sometimes find you here. Thank you for that brave choice. XOX


  5. For the past 9 months I have been thinking and dreaming of the image of pieces breaking away and coming back together. It called me to take a mosaic workshop last fall and am doing another one later this month. Your poem brings up the same theme: breaking down and building up the pieces of our lives and of our hearts.


  6. Wow. What a poem.”the road to release: a poem” My experiences of the last 10 years with Gregory have given me many poems as well. So far two self published volumes! Amazing how the careful, minimal use of words can help deal with the chaotic, avalanche of emotions.


    1. Yes Michael, I find poetry to be a great way of releasing pent-up emotions and frustrations – but it will take me a while to get to self publish volumes! You are prolific 🙂 so far I have less than half a dozen… But one must start somewhere.


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