We broke up

And whoever I was became very broken too

A kind of confusing and paralyzing broken

A kind of broken that didn’t seem fair

Not into chunks, but into shards

Like when you broke that nice plate that grandma gave mom

The one that made her cry when she saw it across the floor

Like that

And they all expect me to put it back together

Put me back together

To rebuild something that I can’t remember the shape of

Or what it looks like

A person has so many edges

And it’s been so long since it was only me

One day you wake up and half of you is gone

And you’re hobbling around on one leg like you’ve never had to do before

Trying to pick up the pieces with one arm

Trying to make them stay with nothing to hold them

Watching with frustrated, furious tears as the pieces keep falling off

Like when you tried to glue that plate back together

Because your mother crying is a special kind of ache

But you kept trying

Trying to make something wonderful with nothing

Nothing but the vague memory of who you’d been so long before you built who you were

How the little blue design weaved around the edge of that plate

Because you were a part of me

The part that I leaned on when I was breaking

Even when you were the one breaking me

Even when the dysfunction and pain broke me

I was never so broken as I was when you left

And it hurts

My heart hurts

My chest and my lungs and my soul hurt

And I feel like some kind of freak

Like a haphazard being

But if there is one thing I’ve learned

From broken plates

Is that you can never put it back the way it was

And you can’t hide it from your mom

And that the best thing to do is to acknowledge that it happened

And let it happen

And make something new

Something that maybe isn’t at all better than what you had before

But is there where the shards were

And maybe your mom will kind of like the glue marks on that plate you broke

And she’ll appreciate the effort that you put into making it be okay again

Maybe the glue and outlines of jagged shards become a part of it

A special part of it

I refuse to believe that plate will be stronger

It will probably have horrible trust issues

But it will be whole

And it will be unique

And it will be okay


By Alexa Jane Battler