night gifts

shreds of night
slivers of darkness
through which memories slide
tiny fragments of chaos
thin – pointed
and sharp
tearing nerve and muscle
striking bone
forever lodged
apparitions of yesterday
coming with sleep
disguised as dreams
but in truth
nightmares of their love

in losing a friend

to lose a friend
to disease
or cancer
is pain without measure

to lose a friend
to a moment of angry
or thoughtless speech
is beyond comprehension

but to lose a friend
to their own hand
cannot be expressed
in words

for in these times
the heart only knows
how to weep

To the surviving

At one time hurt
    confused and ashamed
        over things that you had endured

Now steadier hands
    more self-confident stance
        your footsteps are more secure

Many pitfalls and traps
    have lain ‘fore your feet
        when you feared you would never survive

Yet with continuing effort
    and help from your friends
        you’re learning now how to thrive

And though at one time
    if you looked for hope
    chances are you found less than zero

Now each day brings you closer
    to full victory
        and the day you become your own hero