Low Places

When you’re at the bottom,
you have nowhere to go but up.
Or so I have been told
But no matter how hard I try
to believe this (and other “truths”),
I come up short

I think the folks who say such things
have a generous / steady / reliable foundation
to build their sureness upon;
to know that, one brick at a time,
they’ll make their way back up

But my bedrock is pocked full of holes
that drain to low places I can’t even see,
let alone imagine the very existence of

I’m here at the bottom, aren’t I?
Can’t get lower than this, can I?

Am I a fraud

But this is the bottom, yes?
Truly rock-bottom, no?

Am I actually a good person


Do I make meaningful contributions


Do I have any truly creative ideas or
are they all just shoddy copies


Aren’t I fated to die
a failure at any moment


leaving my child
without an advocate


without someone to show him
truly unconditional love


And in these withering moments of doubt
at the things I should know but impossibly can’t
The alleged bottom drops out and I am left
to wonder if other people’s low places
feel like just another Tuesday

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