May You Begin Again


A Poem by Melissa F. Kaelin

Not everyone needs three evergreens to remind them of Christmas morning, while they mourn in the midst of a distant true love—as it fades. While they promise never to let a partner devalue themselves that way again—to romanticize rock bottom. While they drive the forest-lined highways—to remember the peace of having a real home. While they whisper unheard goodbyes—to their second family. Not everyone needs two wreathes on the doors to welcome friendly strangers. And only one star.

Surely, it shines for someone.

Young heart, I will celebrate your diamond ring as if it is sparkling new, and vibrant, and full of promise. Even though my emerald is scratched, and smudged, and colored with regret. This gem was dug out of the natural depths of the earth, while yours was passed down through legacies of wealth. I don’t judge you.

Only please remember that I did not trim the stems of this bouquet for you, lightly. I clipped each rose to the right height for you, and arranged them carefully inside the vase, with the hope that your vows will stand tall. Stand strong. Nourish you as you blossom. Give your diamond enough light to shine.

Why should poetry thrive, while the soul cries? Why is life so full of beauty and light and promise, and yet we each know a person who would not pass through this one heavy door. Who would not lift a finger. Even to behold the sunrise?

Is this what a panic attack feels like? When the reality dawns on me, I can’t breath. I think I’m going to be sick. No, not to the stomach. To the soul.

A new year is coming. A fresh start. A new beginning. It’s all I ever wanted for you.

May you begin again.