Dear Forgiveness, Today I Came Searching For You


Dear forgiveness,
Today I came searching for you. Beneath my eyelids where I thought the problem lived. Beneath skin where I’ve fought half of my battles and only won a few. Between teeth where angry words have spilled out unintentionally time and time again.
You were not there.

I found instead mountains of myself turned over by guilt. Guilt that sat on my chest angrily, hungrily, picking apart my bones like a hunter’s fresh kill. Only here there was no salt to preserve the mess of me. Here there were only misplaced hymns, half uttered prayers, and a string of jewelry my mother passed down that I hold onto for safe keeping.

Dear forgiveness,
I think perhaps we need to meet on common ground. It seems, over the years, we have become estranged. I admit, I’ve been short tempered and haven’t always greeted you with open arms, if I’ve greeted you at all. I am sorry for leaving you so long alone.

This time though, this time I am ready. I am making peace with my enemies and cleaning out my attic. It was dusty and cold and it desperately needed some love. So, I opened up windows. I aired out the drapes. I turned on the fan. I finally let a little sunlight in. Truly, it has done wonders. And the truth is, I do not want to wait until there is no more of me left to forgive. Until I am just pieces decorating walls or roads or stuffed too full of falsities to breathe.

Dear forgiveness,
If I can learn to forgive myself, I think I am still salvageable.

Alison Malee is a poet and the author of the book Shifting Bone.

Shifting Bone is available as a physical and electronic book. You can buy it here