I sit here alone clutching these flowers, choking on their sweetness, just to remind myself of the pain in beauty. It's summer outside, the dead of winter in my heart. The kids have grown and moved on but the nest has always felt empty. I feel so old. My life's energy spent trying to understand why you never loved me. Did you do the best you could with what you had? Revered with eyes to the sky and Heaven's wisdom on your sleeve, but blind to me. Your words burrowed under my skin, trauma tempered into an armor I can't shed. The weight of your way, the weight of your truth, the weight of your light crushing all that I am. Spare your rod, spoil me just once. Did you do the best you could with what you had? I want so badly to release this sword, this fucking heirloom you gifted me. Take back this heirloom, I've already impaled too many I love with it. You've been gone so long but I can't loosen my grip. At war with the world and I'm afraid I'm winning.