Followed by a yawning cavern

I live next to a deep hole

A yawning cavern

Waiting for swallow me if I get too near the edge.

I back away

Every day I need to watch my footing

Am I too close?

Will I fall in?

And I know it’s a bottomless hole.

I look at other people’s lives

And don’t see any caverns.

All right, maybe a dip in the terrain

Or a short tunnel with light at the end.

And I want that life!

I need to get away from the Grand Canyon,

But I can’t move.

One day I notice a structure

And curious, I go near

And circle around it

And recognize it as a catapault.

I agonize. I fantasize.

And one day I climb on it

And let circumstances fling me away.

The terror I feel in midair is debilitating

There’s nothing to grab on to

And when I land the pain is excruciating.

But I think I‘ve left the cavern behind.

And I resolutely set my face toward a new tomorrow.

Until I notice a crack opening up from the original canyon

That enters the edges of my new territory

And widens

And widens

I try to fill it with anything I can

Activities, jobs, men . . .

Where are the men?

They’ll stop the cavern from opening up.

Now I’m living on the edge of a great abyss


And I want to run away.


But it will follow me – this empty, gaping hole.

So what can I do?

Is there no escape?

I hear a whisper in my ear, “I’ll fill it for you.”

But I don’t see the source of that voice.

Written for a friend a year after her divorce.

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