I wrote this piece in the ReStory Your Life – Freedom After Trauma Meetup group that I facilitate. Each of us chose a picture from an array of different images spread out on the table before us to write about. I chose a postcard depicting a native American drawing on the wall of a canyon. This poem is meant for everyone, especially those of us coping with trauma. The energy of we survivors writing together in the group enabled the authoring of it.
Our Walking Together
I love these horses on the pictograph. There are riders,
too and animals with long horns. Horses, people,
and animals walking across a wall of time. Fellow
pilgrims on a road of liberation.
We’ve had to protect ourselves. We’ve come this far.
We’ve carried each other’s loads. Above us sun.
Below us, waves of stone. Danger.
But there is safety in numbers. We have been here
before. We have travelled together. We are not alone.
And the animals calm us—the gentle snorts, nickers.
Their huffs. They lick their lips. These furred beings
lighten our loads, loads of the suffering humans
who hold ourselves responsible. Who can barely
appreciate the sun’s warmth on our chests
because we are caught up in fears. Fears of things
that have happened. Fears of things that may happen.
Fears bad things may happen again.
But as we walk together and hear the hoofs scuff the grass,
see the dust rise from the trail, smell the sweetness of the new
morning air, we are one. We are alive.