The medieval physician said it was in the spleen, Chinese medicine diagnoses liver, this leviathan that comes from deep within and threatens the life from which it springs. It moves to kidneys, gallbladder, spreading like an untreated cancer, to the pancreas, to the heart, to the brain. It’s as prevalent as breath, and I am both container and contained. It’s an opportunistic species, this chronic visitor who smells like old fish. And it will kill. Soft things now, and everything eventually. I don’t know how to treat the condition except to distance from the hotbeds, to look for those who are not infected and pray they inject an antidote of empathy in my veins. Or I listen to Deva Premal sing Hindu chants, or I read Mary Oliver, or I walk, walk, walk the roads and the trails and the meadows until I have taken root again in the soft earth of a forgiving mother who is so near the end of her rope that any prodigal’s return is offered the fatted calf of peace, and if I sit on a stump long enough and stare at the water and stay as still as the heron in the distance, I can feel the mending in my spleen. © 2020 Deb Moore, All Rights Reserved
Hues of Anger
The Internet test said “write down the name of someone you associate with the color red.”
I put my father, of course, because everyone knows that red is angry.
Poor red. So maligned.
Some anger is brown.
Deeply rooted, earthy, quiet,
smoldering like the bubbling brew under the Hawaiian Islands.
Some is green.
Nurtured at the hands of others, growing, jealous, victim-anger.
Some is frightened, paranoid, unworthy.
Whatever color anger – and I’ve had a rainbow – it’s definitely not all red.
But that’s still the color of my father.
His anger is of the fire-engine variety.
Hot, spreading, fueled by anything in its path, inflicting damage.
I click to the next screen of the Internet test.
It says, “The person you associate with red is the person you love the most.”
I feel deep, midnight, black-like blue spill down over my head like a cracked egg
and turn navy, then cobalt, then azure, then cornflower, then baby.
I don’t think any anger is blue.