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Counseling Practice of Anne Allanketner LPC
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Articles and Poetry > Poem- Holding Your Story



Holding the Story Well

Be careful with your story,

hold it tenderly.

Above all, pick it up.

when you drop it


Spirit is in your story

and high mountains,

dangerous passes, people of ill intent.

Secrets that grew all by themselves

under the blanket

of night.


Listen! Your courage

is hidden under the rock

of your suffering.

Keep that beauty in a place

where you can find it.

When you were young, your story was a naked

bean sprout pushing into

moist dark earth.

All that green innocence

still belongs to you.

That luminescent story, of deepest hopes

must be nourished, by ancient springs

that only you can find.

Despair is in your story

and in my story, too.

All our stories,

in fact

contain that dangerous

reptile who licks so

seductively at our feet,

that trickster, that

master of confusion.

Never let your story

get too benign;

the fuzz of gathering denial,

ground fog,

plastic candy wrappers,

too much jello,

when you need soup

made by the hands of love.



No one can keep your story

for you. No one can see

into that shimmering orb,

 as you can.

But some few may hold

your story for a moment,

sighing gently

closing their eyes

in deep communion

with light.



someone lets you hold their story

for that chance of harmony,

of understanding.

Search, search quickly

through all their words and pictures

for that urgent and beautiful strand

of their courage

in the face of 1000 horsemen

riding towards them in the desert.

Then you

jump out from behind that rock

 and say “NOW, NOW,

now I see

who you  really are!”


Only the Grandmother

can tell you

your story.

She re-members you

from the beginning.

She guides your breath

from within.

Look at her wrinkled hands

holding that luminous

prickly thing

you made

with your life.


I know that you will hold

the stories of your children


with your eyes set

to find beauty and forgiveness.

Your deep music plans,

even now,

to play in the background

as they speak

of their disappointment

and the brave hope

that you built all those

little kindling fires

to illuminate,

when they were small.

Scars run like rivers

through the unexplored land.

Later, they will look like

road maps

on the way to healing.


Every sorrow is congested love.

So move the rocks and wait

for a warm rain.

Other people’s sorrow

is etched there too.

You can lift it off tenderly

and leave it to dry

in the sun.

After much crying

and excavating of riverbeds

and going to sleep confused-

after prayer and rage

and mysterious unravelings,

one day you wake up

in the morning

and you are not sorry anymore:

A tendril of wholeness

is pushing her way up 

to meet the light.


-----by Anne Allanketner