Poetry Sunday-Box Full of Darkness

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Box Full of Darkness

 

 

I open this box again.

Its dark demons still survive there.

The bruises, the slaps, the cuts-

Pain still runs deep in the scars.

 

 

You told someone recently you remembered me fondly.

And my snort of derision was a surprise.

Maybe a slap back.

But this ‘box full of darkness’ has risen again.

 

 

No longer all neatly wrapped and stored in the attic of my heart,

Where it had burned a hole.

White hot with searing anger,

With anguish and betrayal.

 

 

And as I gaze upon this box, I know it is never forgotten.

But it no longer defines me.

Abused, Used, Victim!

No this box I hold, shows me I am a survivor.

I have risen.  Strong of heart, shame resilient.

 

 

And while I may feel some residual pain,

And a tear may appear at the corner of my eye,

This box, oh this holy, blessed box is your gift to me.

One you never knew you gave me,

Perhaps the only one you ever gave me.

 

 

And so I keep this ‘box full of darkness’

Neatly wrapped in the attic of my heart,

Where now it holds a special place on the altar of my soul.

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2016

 

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“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.” ~Mary Oliver

 

I read this quote some time ago, but could not wrap my brain around it.  How could darkness be a gift?  And then when I was doing some inner work, something happened to bring the quote’s meaning home.

 

So as the ah-ha moment penetrated, I wrote this poem.  A victim of domestic abuse from decades ago, the poem is based on these painful memories.  And they have not, nor will they ever be forgotten or define me.  I have forgiven, and moved on…..and this beautiful box full of darkness is now not something that holds me down or holds me back.  No, instead it has freed me.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up, Poetry Pantry, for poets who blog, and with Sanaa@A Dash of Sunny for her Prompt Nights every Friday.  This week’s theme is “Passion makes the world go round”.  Although this is a painful and dark poem, it is dealing with subjects passionate to my heart….forgiveness, letting go, resilience and healing.  All important things happening in my life right now that I am passionate about on my journey.

box collage

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about a box full of darkness.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

box full of darkness

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

65 Replies to “Poetry Sunday-Box Full of Darkness”

  1. What a stunning image of such a box, I think such a box is needed, not so much to have it hidden but contained, a way to look at it and know you can handle it. Wonderful poem

  2. I loved this. We all have such boxes. We must find a way to deal with them. I understand this one I a really guttural way.

  3. I bet the tear didn’t fall, Donna. 🙂 Such a strong voice you have here. Acceptance, moving on with a peaceful heart.

  4. Keep it yes but don’t keep looking at it for you must walk away from that part of your life and start anew. All you need to remember is that you have it tucked away safe…and have learned a lot from it..

  5. Such honest work. I think we all have one of those boxes. It takes bravery and strength to not let it rule our lives in a negative way.

  6. Such an honest and heartfelt poem, Donna..❤❤ Your passion shines through bright as fire in these lines “And as I gaze upon this box, I know it is never forgotten. But it no longer defines me. Abused, Used, Victim! No this box I hold, shows me I am a survivor. I have risen. Strong of heart, shame resilient.” For even though events in life tear us down our passion are the true phoenixes which help us rise anew from the ashes. Beautifully penned (as always) Thank you so much for participating at Prompt Nights and for your constant love and support. ❤❤

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

    1. Much love to you Sanaa for your beautiful thoughts about my poem….’even though events in life tear us down our passion are the true phoenixes which help us rise anew from the ashes’….so very true!

  7. And a poem full of light and hope – i love the quote and how you have so very clearly processed it and almost absorbed its strength – perhaps a sign that we are moving forward is when we can re-visit the box..without judging ourselves..and the what ifs.. what is is what counts and if that is even a little brighter – it’s an achievement and courageous – much light to you

    1. Yes I did feel like I absorbed the quote….and how wise of you Jae Rose…I agree it is a sign we are moving forward when we can visit the box and it does not define us anymore…thank you!

  8. Oh this is good, Donna. It is good that those boxes are not allowed to define a person, that they are kept in their place & learned from.. And perhaps one can be more resilient and stronger in character as a result. I like this poem a lot…it is a different style for you…and works so well!

    1. Mary it means so much to me that you think this good…it is a very different poem for me, and came deep, strong and easy from inside. I have been penning a lot of healing poems so perhaps this style will show up again.

  9. Wow, Donna, this is powerful writing. Thank you for being so brave to share such a personal painful experience. I have heard of Mary Oliver’s quote before, and love your interpretation. Yes, it’s about forgiveness, letting go, resilience, and healing. A painful past can make us stronger, and I can see now where the sensibilities in your poetry come from, and how you have transformed a negative experience into a beautiful, grateful, blessed life. You’re not only a survivor but you’re thriving. Wonderful post! 🙂

  10. What strong message, Donna, in your very sensitive poem inspired by the quote of Oliver : ““Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.” !”

    I know that your poem it talks about abuse; But it seems to me that it can be so well related with lots of pains, sad moments of life, pains that are locked in the hearts, the souls of people… I’m so touched by these lyrics of yours:
    “And while I may feel some residual pain,
    And a tear may appear at the corner of my eye,
    This box, oh this holy, blessed box is your gift to me.
    One you never knew you gave me,
    Perhaps the only one you ever gave me.

    And so I keep this ‘box full of darkness’
    Neatly wrapped in the attic of my heart,
    Where now it holds a special place on the altar of my soul.”

    Thank for your brave and strong, sensitive poem and post. Thank you for sharing with us of your emotions and thoughts. A very thoughtful poem and brave message. It inspire me so much…

    1. Oh yes Alexa the box can be any pain or sadness in our lives….and you are most welcome….part of the healing is in the sharing…..it means a lot to have my poem be inspiring…I am so glad you found it so.

  11. I love that snort of derision that he “remembers you fondly”. Obviously he has rewritten history. Love that you know those times forged your spirit in such strength, that you have risen far beyond those hard times. I especially resonate with the darkness having been a gift, though we could not know that at the time.

  12. The most powerful triumph against abuse and abuser is for the one who was abused to stop being a victim… to use the scars as armor… to move on and live… and this poem says that in a wonderful way. Love the symbolism. ♥

  13. This is a remarkable poem – you took the quote and made the metaphor your own. It is difficult sometimes to tap into personal history to write poetry but the words take on a life of their own, and speak to others.

    1. Oh so kind of you Kerry, this high praise…thank you! I agree sometimes a personal poem will take on a life of their own…and if we are lucky it will speak to others.

  14. I’m glad its boxed and wrapped and stored AFTER being dealt with. Such packages can play with our minds until they are transformed into gifts by some amazing grace. I’ve earned that the transformation has little to do with the actual abuser.

  15. it’s not something you usually write about, but when you write it, it is such a strong piece of work. it moves the reader.
    it is good that you can moved on.

  16. A courageous poem. It makes me sad to think you have suffered this .Domestic abuse is at epidemic proportions in Australia. You should feel proud of yourself that you have moved on and overcome your situation. It does not define you and has nothing to do with your worth Abusers and bullies of all kinds are cowards and insecure. They target perceived vulnerability…usually soft sweet people because it’s easy. I think you are great for writing this poem.

    1. Thanks so much Rall…I was young when it all happened and it seems to still be a secret when people are abused even today…..we don’t want to share, but it is so much better when we do.

  17. How important for that box to be there hidden away but not brought out to show everyone but to place all that hurt safely where it can no longer do any harm. A lesson has been learned and you can walk freely again.

  18. This post reminded me of my best friend’s ex husband. It’s possible that in his darkest hours he acknowledges the pain he caused but outwardly he is comfortable in his arrogance.

  19. A very important and poignant piece with a voice gentle yet strong. Love that you’ve reached a place in this journey for….forgiveness, letting go, resilience and healing. That’s power on its own.

  20. Hmmm! In my writing group at the State University, always mention the writings of Mary Oliver. I have yet to read her but you perked up my interest.
    Your pieces and pictures continue to amaze me.

  21. A powerful and poignant piece – written with the clarity and the peace imbued from “letting go” that only time and freeing introspection can confer. An imagining journey, articulated with honesty and strength. A triumph!

  22. Oh wow. WOW. This is so good. I have a good friend that really needs to read this and will share with her. Thank you so much for sharing!

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