Images from the front: A therapist’s week in New Mexico by Cathryn Glenday

Brown Curls and Spanish, a blur.
Tearful, fearful –
Followed quickly by grey hair, multiplying –
As her mother chases her into the inner sanctuary
Where those of us trying to help maintain strength and humor.
React with surprize at the intrusion
Trying to respond and regroup.

Stone and unmoving but crying
Like the Praying Monk on Camelback Mountain
Of my Phoenix, Arizona youth.
Yet crying tears that could turn the desert to sea
From waves of grief, salt and tears of bitterness and loss.
He sits in my chair, his mother at wits end.
He won’t speak.

A highly honored vet injured in the war,
Eyes crazy from images of carnage and blood
That replay like a video clip in a playback loop.
Drops from our grasp because
Turning and facing it requires more bravery
Than the actual battle.

A snowflake cut from paper,
An 8 year beams as he signs his name
And writes my name for his
Dedication, so I won’t forget our time together or him.
His smile and the light in his eyes
Keep me coming back.

A late evening huddle as to how to proceed,
One of my colleagues sees a kid
Who has a plan to kill his family,
Lives on the line, how to respond,
To not overreact yet to protect,
Licenses on the line too.

Now it is Sunday and rather than church
And feeding my soul,
Yoga to Red Hot Chili Peppers
Seems more appealing.
The tense, disruptive beat and mourning melody _
“I need to move, I need to fight”
Unkinks the week and tension.
Tapping my foot to the drums,
I finish my breakfast and dress for church.

Cathryn Ana Glenday, MPH, MA, LMHC
Copyright 2017 CA Glenday

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