Border Crossings

by Megan Chapman   Jul 31, 2020


I crossed a border recently
It was a conscious, careful crossing
of a common border
between one state and another,
I knew it was there
so I respected it,
paid it due obeisance.
I prepared for it,
my right to cross ready to show.
and I made an easy crossing into my new life.

Not long into this new life
it was Mothers Day.
Another border was crossed that day.
It was mine,
but
It was so new that
Until it was crossed
I didn't even know it was there.

In my old life I had no border,
because my habit was to have no boundaries,
In my new life I’m changing that,
I’m learning that I deserve better
and to make recognising my boundaries my habit.
But that was still all so unfamiliar
I hadn't realised I now have
a border.

It was a painful crossing,
So so painful
Such losses ...
This time it wasn't me who crossed,
That was done by others,
By those whom I expected would observe Mother’s Day with me.

They did it in silence
a loud empty silence,
that lasted all day and into the evening.
It wasn’t until then
that I realised
there'd even been a crossing.
But once I knew there had been,
I knew there was no going back from it.
Nothing would ever be the same again.

My border breeched
the flood gates opened
and I was engulfed in a tsunami of my deepest darkest griefs
that shook my whole being to my core.
Involuntary wails,
hardly recognisable as mine
escaping from the depths of my very soul
when I wasn’t
silenced
by the sheer enormity of it,
the incomprehensible cruelty
of those who'd been the centre of my world,
whose well being and very lives I had valued above mine,
Decades of loving and caring
clearly
nothing to them now.

Utterly engulfed and bereft
I just had to go with it.
I let it
flood the table,
wash over the Scrabble board,
the letters in our game
floating in my ocean of tears.
"We can stop the game if you like"
He said several times,
So gentle,
buffeted by the force of my storm.
"No no, it's best I have it as a distraction".

I knew my grief would drown us if I gave it my whole attention.

Next morning I knew.
This border crossing
is now
a new boundary.

My new life continues.

© Megan Chapman

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Latest Comments

  • 1 day ago

    by Tanya Southey

    Beautiful poem Megan. You are an exceptional wordsmith x

  • 1 week ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    Blown away by your piece and what you graciously share with us, Megan! So much depth in this, in the very literal meaning of crossing a border to allowing yourself boundaries that you never set before. Processing grief and continuing without it overwhelming all of you. There's a great deal of wisdom in this, and your voice shares such vulnerable emotion. Even the mention of the Scrabble game as a distraction, the importance of it perhaps, was such a strong, striking image. This was heart-wrenching to read at times, because when we allow those flood gates to open, sometimes we can't help with the pain and hurt cascades over it. We can't always stop it. We wonder why, when we gave so much love, so selflessly, and that was just returned, or is gone.

    Incredibly emotional piece, Megan. Sending all my support.

    • 1 week ago

      by Megan Chapman

      Thank you Poet on the Piano, for sharing with me and your kind words, and, your support.

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