You didn’t realize, when I opened the door and invited you in,
Told you to make yourself at home, offered to hang your coat,
That a closet would be opened
Where skeletons live
And monsters wait for a chance to come dancing.
Or maybe you did. Denial makes things possible
That an attentive mind would not allow.
And so we sit here, chatting,
And I notice the generations of ancestors lining up behind you,
Hoping they too will have a place at the table.
Laying out their desire to have their grief acknowledge
The way one lays out a winning hand of cards.
Ancestors, complexes, archetypal identifications
How can so many figures pack themselves into one invisible piece of luggage?
How can so many demons jostle about in one mind
All and each of them hoping to be invited in,
To sit here with us and share a cup of tea.
I offer, and you say “no.”
But the work goes on anyway. Because monsters never care
What the ego wants. There are tyrants in their midst
Because even though they came to keep you safe
Way back when,
Now they think they own you.
That’s why you come here today.
Because you think I know something about these closets
And this baggage and these tyrants.
Because you think I know something about how to make tea.
And I am always sorry my dear, but every time I ask you how you are,
I’ve given you back the responsibility
For getting to know each and every one of these others
The work will always be yours
You come to me not because I’m particularly helpful
Only because I understand the language of monsters
And its useful to have a translator every now and then.
Because I know
That when you open that door
And look in the closet
The skeletons you see
Are always you own.
Here, give me your coat,
I’ll make us some tea.