By Jason Imanuel
PROMPT — Despite ...
When I saw Mt St Helens blow
I didn’t know what it meant,
those flowers of darkness
above it, the small shudders in
ground beneath us.
About all I knew was that I
didn’t have to go to Sunday
that both of my parents
thought the world was ending,
and that Jesus was finally gonna make good on all those
You’d think it would be
a celebration but Ma and Pops
were filled with so much anxiety
that the air in the house would have been cleaner had the ash
infiltrated and filled our lungs like
it was blanketing the trees outside.
I’m there still, from time to time,
madly trying to catch
how I’ll be left behind
and time and again I am.
I’ve blamed the people who
showed up and then
ducked out in plumes of ash and fire,
but it’s really just me who kept
leaving myself, blowing shit up
fear dreams and confused questions,
and we all ended up covered in
anxiety, muttering prayers about
clarity and hope
and how to trust and who.
And maybe the prayers all piled
up over the years and tipped a
because something’s different
this time, I keep finding ways to
if even just a bit more each day.
Maybe that’s all it was the whole
that it takes years for some of us
to trust enough to learn
how to stay.
Jason Imanuel is a lover, a father, a writer, a handyman, and gratefully in recovery from all sorts of things living next to a lake in lower New York state.