Number 40 on my adventure list is to write a book of poetry. This week I had some writing inspiration.
A Car Burglary
My anger is like the ocean, coming in waves.
Sometimes it’s small, like that little ripple of adrenaline I feel
as I am walking to my car, wondering if once again
I will find shatters of glass,
and something taken.
Other times, the anger is so powerful that it steals my breath
like when I am trying to fall asleep at night,
and salt water is streaming down my face,
every creak and noise causing a flinch
forcing me to wonder if you’re here in my home
because stealing my bag wasn’t enough.
And still, at other times the anger is so deep
that it’s more like a swell of rage
as I envision myself taking revenge against you
with a baseball bat, a gun.
My anger isn’t only directed at you.
I feel angry at the police
for taking my report by phone,
for not even sending an officer to the scene,
even though just miles away
I know there was one sitting in his patrol car,
waiting to give out another speeding ticket.
I feel angry that the security footage was worthless
because the camera was covered in frost
and I was parked too far away.
I feel angry that in a busy parking lot
in broad daylight
no one reported seeing anything.
I feel angry that you will never be caught.
And I feel angry at the people who told me,
You shouldn’t have left your bag in your car,
Don’t you know how many times
I have re-lived the moment when I told myself
It’s only for a couple minutes, it will be fine.
Don’t you know that blaming the victim
is not okay.
I feel angry when people tell me,
It’s only stuff, it’s replaceable.
It wasn’t just stuff.
It was my schedule, my thoughts,
my appointments, my anniversary date.
It was money that I worked hard for,
the brown leather bag I picked out specifically for my new job.
It was my photo, my height, my weight,
It wasn’t just stuff.
It was my library card, my new wallet I got with my best friend,
the clipboard I bought as a graduate student
for my first therapy session with a real client.
It was my little pink scissors I’ve had since kindergarten
that I kept them in my bag to do art therapy projects with kids,
my name printed neatly on the handle by my mom
so they would never get lost.
It was a piece of me, my identity.
It’s not replaceable.
I am not replaceable.
So today, I’ll go again to the place
where you stole me
I’ll search the ditches,
the woods, the creeks,
hoping that I will find something…
my planner, my green water bottle from college,
my driver’s license, my favorite pink lipstick,
my work files, my health insurance card,
I keep thinking that maybe, just maybe,
if I find the pieces of me
I will start to feel whole again.