There is a certain satisfaction that comes
from holding space for yourself.
Setting out two cups while you
wait for the tea kettle to whistle.
Breaking up the chocolate into
portions resembling halves.
When the tea kettle whistles I grab
the honey bear.
I squeeze equal portions to the
carved out porcelain with
Each mug holding a
different tea bag because part
of holding space for yourself is
enjoying the freedom of unbridled variety.
Because choices have already
been made for my body
I choose chamomile for one
and cardamom for another.
I pour the cinnamon in one,
but not the other.
As I pour the boiling water I inhale
deeply as the tea bag simmers
in the steam of it.
I breathe in and live every memory
that rises from the fragrant trigger.
I still hold the space for me.
I am not looking over my shoulder
for someone to join me because
right now the space is occupied by
the one who needs healing.
I am holding space for her
like a crib for an infant.
One day she will outgrow this.
One day the crib will be repurposed
into a bench or a table for
my small children.
The memory that I used it until
my head and toes reached the edges
will bring gratitude that I learned how
to rock myself to sleep.
I learned to use my own arms before
I went looking for arms
to hold me together.
I’ll look because I want to look, and
not because my own arms
are cold and unfamiliar.
If I fall apart I will know it
wasn’t because I didn’t do my work.
If I fall apart I’ll pull out
two mugs again.
I’ll pull out two flavors of tea again.
I’ll wrap my arms around me
and sway until I can sleep again.