Shrapnel

This last weekend I got to perform my first ever collaborative poem with a friend, Rob Walker. It was such an honour to work with Rob on this. Although we didn’t have much time to practice, I really enjoyed performing it and I hope to perform it again some time. Enjoy.

Chris: I was in shock.

Rob: Caught in the headlights

Chris: My mind was racing a thousand miles per minute,
but my lungs were in stop-and-go traffic.

Rob: It felt like  quick jab to my gut,
Knocking the wind out of me and leaving me befuddled.
Desperately trying to remember how to breathe.

Chris: Like my body forgot how to survive and in a moment I tried to re-learn 22 years of my life

Both: Maybe you’ve been there too. 

Both: Question:

Rob: How do you keep your composure when your pastor betrays you in front of 30 of your peers?

Both: Answer:

Chris: You don’t

Rob: No matter how hard you try,
you wont be able to hide your grief.

Chris: The air around you becomes heavy with distress.

Rob: And everyone is waiting to see
if you will drown in an ocean of your own tears
Or boil over in a fit of rage.

Chris: Either way …

Both: You’re crying

Rob: I know what it’s like to be among friends one moment
and ‘the enemy’ the next.

Chris: one of the baptised;
filled with the spirit
And then ‘worldly’ the next.

Rob: Never quite trustworthy because
as my pastor says,

Both: YOU HAVE AN EVIL SPIRIT 

Rob: I know what it’s like to study ‘those verses’ with a flashlight long after my parents have told me to go to bed.

Chris: to lose sleep praying for somebody else’s life —
Something a bit more normal.

Rob: To share my heart with the ones who taught me to love Jesus
but instead becoming a target for apologetics
because they listen to respond rather than honestly trying to understand.

Chris: As if my existence jeopardizes their very faith in God.

Rob: Sometimes …
I desperately want AGREEMENT.

Chris: Sometimes

Rob: Most times

Chris: I just want acceptance

Both: THE ASSURANCE THAT I AM LOVED

Rob: becoming whole

Chris: and not some sexually depraved heretic.

Both: Maybe you’ve been there too. 

Both: Question:

Rob: What do spiritual and emotional bruises look like?

Both: Answer:

Chris: a rope worn through after years of tension and friction;
black and blue fraying ends

Rob: which is to say: it didn’t happen overnight.

Chris: but strand by strand my soul unravelled never to  be quite the same again.

Rob: Because even if one day I can fix these ties, there will always be a knot in my stomach when I think of you.

Chris: A sinking feeling that remains from when you dropped me.

Rob: Falling, I broke into a million pieces …
on the ground shattered.

Chris: Thinking horses and men could fix me but when the dust finally settled all that remained were crushed eggshells.

BOTH: SHRAPNEL FOR MY PEERS TO RIP OUT OF THEIR FLESH. 

Rob: Which is to say:

Both: Maybe you’ve been there too

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