By Sheila Dougal
I. Oh for Shalom! For wholeness and home
I felt it in my throat when his last words, “You deserve more,” nearly choked me out.
It was almost excitement. Which is ridiculous:
Who laughs in expectation at times of such devastation?
II. Oh for reconciliation! For no more need for reparations
I experienced a tiny glimpse when we faced each other in line formation
like the Revolutionary War–
You and I on one side,
our sons on the other
ready to fire the first shots at their father
And your response, I shall never forget.
“Son, I’d like to spend my life earning your trust again.”
III. Oh for redemption! To finally gain that it wasn’t all in vain
I added it up. It all made sense. I would do that, and you would do this.
But it didn’t work like that.
Turns out, there’s a different kind of math.
There’s the kind where you die and everyone scoffs that you’re being used
and it's all for loss.
And three days later, or in my case ten thousand five-hundred and eighty-five,
you realize you’ve walked out that door
for the last time,
and you’re alive.
IV. Oh for rest! For actual complete resignation, no more competition
I’m not exactly sure when it was
I think it was around the same time
You said, “We have different loves.”
On that, we agreed
And I walked you home
And knew I wasn’t home
And that was ok
I wasn’t here to make a home for me,
Sheila Dougal lives in the low deserts of Arizona with her husband and sons. Some of her poetry and essays are published at Fathom Mag, Clayjar Review, The Gospel Coalition, The Joyful Life Magazine and other publications. You can also find her at her blog, Cultivating Faithfulness, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Sheila's other work on Foreshadow:
Descent (Poetry, June 2023)