Honoring Resilience

See me

I'm not the girl my father abandoned
Not the child he laid his hands on

I’m not that kid in DFCS custody
I am not the drugs that my mother gave me

I’m not the drunk who whipped my still wobbly legs purple
Or that cocaine addicted newborn facing insurmountable hurdles

I’m not that toddler trembling in Me Maw’s closet
Or the child missing from family composites

I’m not that angry delinquent running scared and tired
Or that poor girl you declined to hire

I’m neither strife, nor pity
And reject your derision

I’m neither rage nor resentment
And don't want your contrition

I’m not a ward of the state ...
Or an adjudication date

I'm not the filth in my home
Or my father’s complacent tone

I'm not my mother’s confinement
Or her lack of refinement

I will not be reduced to a label or cause
I will not be defined by dependency laws

I am facility unmeasured
And potential untapped

I will not lay in the corners of your predetermined map
I am not the portrait of premise or presupposition
I will act on my own petition!

Adversity’s frown will never steal my smile
I've walked for ages and lost count of the miles

My past will not pigeonhole my future
I will embrace my survival as success's tutor

My soul has the strength of a thousands seas
It will not be bound by myopic proclivity

I will never accept an expedient version of me


Life's Disrobing

Your sadness like an anchor falls
It crashes 'round the courthouse halls
Your legs mired; your eyes red and pleading
You fear today’s your final meeting

Back at home, the phone rings with abandon
Your pulse races; it moves in tandem
With each whisper between them...and each denunciation
You cry in woeful supplication

Your daughter but a room away
Your son off to a friend’s to play
“I’m leaving,” his father's tone unsympathetic, callous
“Daddy,” he shouts, “you’re supposed to love us!”

Your terror launched by life’s disrobing
Will this be your complete unfolding
This, his implausible but palpable retreat
Your heart lumbered by love’s defeat
His steps hasten down desperation’s path
Is this midlife crisis’ wrath?

You want to scream for him to hear
Don’t regret this time, this day, this year
Don’t cause all that’s been sweet to sour
Please, don’t let this be our goodbye hour

Don’t leave me in this tormented place
Unlock this cage of lost embrace
Shed folly's shelter; and wrongs amend
Treat me like your cherished friend

By Rachel A. Elovitz, July 15, 2014


The Tug of Souls

Matrimonially extracted from Grace
Two souls' arms steadfast, embrace
Cloaked in comfort, foreheads converged,
Hands intertwined and traditions merged

United by covenant in Goodness’ presence
In the shadow of doubt and piercing reticence
Promises pledged, alas unrequited
Lies greedily tendered, trust now subsided

Faith dissolved in rile and segregation
In opposition hope shouts for remediation
Solace at last sought in legal jargon
Relief partial, hearts still hardened

Liberation gained in guided dissolution
In loss’ sting there is no absolution
Decisions armored, yet imprudently strategized
Love remembers what fate never realized

By Rachel Elovitz, Feb 2011


A Tale of Two Sisters

This offering was originally a response to my sister - after reading a poem she wrote about my nieces.  It is an ode to them with a wish that what they share will permeate the walls of the Juvenile Court and the families who enter there.

Bereft of slumber and of sluggish hand
On your poetic tender my eyes humbly land

To read a tale of two sisters, dissimilarly inclined
One a whirling dervish, one bookishly sublime

Of their doting alliance and its innate blisters
After all…these two are sisters

In each there is empathy, ability, and light
In each there is humility, compassion, and insight

To merit their love and yield their affection
Is a testament to the recipient - absent dialogue, sans question

They are the progeny of generations of goodness - and yes, fallibility
But of history’s lessons they are the auspicious beneficiaries

And should peace ever seem at one's insufferable distance
Her sister will be there to mitigate resistance

No doubt should lie in this final proffer
That in their disparate manner, they are bonded forever

By Rachel Elovitz, Feb 2011

Wonderland Lost

There is no Cinderella 
Peter Pan is grown
That doesn’t keep him sober
Nor does it keep him home

Old King Cole’s not so merry
His wife’s the Wicked Witch
Red Riding Hood seeks shelter
From her wrath - and her switch

Wonderland is a wasteland
The Giving Tree a stump
Little Bo Peep’s playground
Is a needle-infested dump

Harold grabs his purple crayon
And draws Jonah’s whale
In its belly he finds his haven
A compulsory fairy-tale

By Rachel Elovitz, Feb 2011


Truth's Lodging

For those grieving the loss of a marriage, the end of a cherished relationship, and the absence of answers

Forego ardent protest and creative supplication 
Relying on inference - a fool's condemnation

Discard diffidence, perception's jaded visor
Obscurity and darkness, veracity's quagmire

Truth's breath is transparent, impervious to contagion
Armored against malice and miscalculation

Empathy and insight born of its womb 
In its embrace, deceit finds its tomb 

To pursue its lodging, a futile expedition
Mourning its absence, gratuitous self-sedition

In the breast of its seeker – therein ends the quest 
Its province ubiquitous; its form manifest

Originally printed on Waxing Lyrical on February 5, 2011

This Second

An Ode to Legal Guardians and Adoptive Parents

Her dance is mercifully blissful
Her laughter, heaven’s cackle  
A sparse apartment for seven
Her enchanted, cherubim castle

Of her father’s crime she’s clueless
She knows not her Mother’s love - or slaughter
The voices she hears each morning
Say that she’s her Aunt and Uncle’s daughter

Her brother tenderly takes her hand
As he opens a Courtroom door
He remembers all too well
The life they had before

His manner is always courteous
His speech, a rejection of his sorrow
For him the journey begins this second
Not yesterday, not tomorrow

From the bench a ruling
Formality these children cannot comprehend
They sit quietly at a table
Mom and Dad at either end

That their parents did not give them birth
Merits zero contemplation
That they are loved and nurtured
Is their soul consideration

By Rachel Elovitz
Originally printed on February 10, 2011, on Waxing Lyrical at