All these years on, the accounting is still a mess.
One expects gains to have canceled losses;
New people and places and things to perhaps replace those lost.
But the intangibles?
How does a swelling of courage offset evaporation of faith?
How does unlooked-for new clarity replace trust that crumbled into dust?
At first ripped away in a hurricane of pain,
but then furtively creeping back –
On the balance sheet should it show as red or as black?
Truth is, the maelstrom left behind a jumbled chaos
of shattering losses (that don’t make the gains any less prized)
and priceless gains (that don’t make the losses any less devastating).
They each require their own tally
Don’t ask me to balance them.
– January, 2023
Roni Burrows lives in Tempe, Arizona, with her spouse, David Nachman.