Darice M. Jones and Shaun Jones

Shaun Jones
Acrylic on canvas and collage
Inspiration piece

By Darice M. Jones

Sometimes I have to adjust
My spiritual eyes
To know what I am looking at
Whether the suffering in the room is yours or mine
Whether it is what you called it
Or something else entirely

I have to remember that we hide the worst hurts
Bury them under lesser ones and coping mechanisms and outright lies
Anything not to go back there
Where we’re really terrified that there’s nothing big and bad enough to conquer THAT thing
The monster is real
It’s ability to take you out is evidenced by the hundred things you had to throw on top of its wound
Just to get dressed every day
Just to stop standing on bridges, threatening to jump
Just to accomplish one or two things in this life you could be proud of
Just to appear normal, and learn to avoid letting anyone close enough to really see in

That’s where I tend to enter
When you change your mind about that part, and decide you want to live
Decide you want to tell it all to someone who will love you
Not love you despite what’s wrong
But because you have survived it, and loved yourself enough to stay here, and made a few things happen

You call for me, because I am not afraid of any monster
As long as it has a name

I will carry my soul sword, given to me in the deep night around a Yoruba campfire in the year 22

I will work with you, bringing all that I am
My hand on your heart
to uncover the beast and call out its name
I will shore you up and expose my own scars to let you know we can win

And then with both hand on the handle, blade glistening a ‘yes’ into the wind
we will slay
Grinding it to dust
Reclaiming the parts of you it ate
Transforming those pieces into a tomorrow where your smile is genuine
From skin to bone.

Written By Darice Marcella Jones
In the Year of Toni Morrison ©2023


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