“I killed my brother! I killed my brother!”
I scream as I run into the street after the ambulance.
“No, honey, you did not kill your brother,”
my kind neighbor, Lois, pulls me close
her voice purring
into my numb unhearing ears.
“He’ll be okay. It was an accident…an accident.”
So many times I’ve been referred to as “Queen”
in spaces where roots of my story are explored.
But I do not feel a queen
more the Joker…
one on whom is laid
Cause of family tragedy/demise
Leaves littered along the path
of my most vulnerable years.
Chaos swirls while
Parental scorn rips playfulness
from childhood grid
and dashes it on rocks
of falsified translation
“This is Chrissy; the one who hurt Bill.”
Shards of me
crushed again and again
beneath the weight of unjust responsibility
beyond blame and isolation
even as life and hope obliterate
How long, O Lord?
Glimpses of light
filter through rot-ridden leaves
scattering debris of death
and autumn air kisses
tear stained cheeks of chastity.
Flying home from a conference
I view a thunderhead
the pilot announces we will
skirt around at a
the colossal cloud
lit with vertical flashing fury
unmatched by any
The view reminds me of my life-long campaign
to summon the shards.
As we deplane
evening purples and golds
hem billowing clouds
and sun’s sphere
bows to moon and stars
A song of peace
ushered in by the matchless grandeur
of God’s creative hand!
A mindful plea bubbles up from deep within
“Lord, let the power of all that was
surrender its grip on newly emerging
under the canopy of His care,
I inhale, exhale
embrace my crown
Christine Browning is a lover of story—including her own. She loves to hear and longs to respond well to others’ stories. A late bloomer in the field of education, it is her absolute delight to teach at Milligan College in East Tennessee. She also counsels women who have experienced trauma and abuse. Christine is the mother of three adult children, three incredible grandchildren and has been married for 42+ years to her delightfully playful husband, Tom.