A Poem

Recovery is Loss

for Susan, once my therapist 


You were so skilled that after ten, patient

years of therapy my inner child graduated

bridled yet unbroken, and so much kinder.

I forgive myself, help myself to second chances, 

exile always and never from my lexicon. 

Empathy has routed shame.


A raucous dinner party

once ruled my mind:

Dad shouts over my stepmother

who makes snide swipes at my mother

who mutters darkly under the table.

Grammy warns of bitter winds,

and my little brother hears all, silent. 


A surer voice guides me now. 

My own, but evocative of you

leaning above your crossed legs, 

listening, assuring me—you are not your mother, 

your children are not extensions of you.

For years you helped me break chains

I forged again before the next session. 


The last time we met, you sent me off

strong enough to turn my back

on the furnace and walk free. 

Amy Higgins

Previously published in The Huron River Review.

Amy Higgins teaches composition and creative writing at Washtenaw Community College and facilitates the newly-formed NAMI Washtenaw County Friends and Family support group for WCC students.

Upcoming meeting times for the WCC student Friends and Family Support Group are:

  • Thursday, June 24, 4:30-6pm
  • Thursday, July 22, 4:30-6pm
  • Thursday, August 19, 4:30-6pm

You can register by phone by calling (734)994-6611 or online by visiting this link. If you have any questions, email Amy at ahiggins@wccnet.edu.

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