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by Susana Rinderle

Recorded by author


I don’t know how to be
among so much brokenness.
I have the hands of a healer,
the eyes of a fixer.
There are too many that need healing
too many that worship
the brokenness
obediently inhaling toxic fumes
they mistake for air.

I’m not accustomed
to lying down on broken glass.
I set about with my broom
and my glue
because I was born this way.
I still believe in wholeness,
still covet purpose
but the mob rolls their eyes 
at what mine can see
waving away my glue and salve
calling them futility
even as they ask me
to heal and fix
their brokenness

breaking things.

I know I should adapt.
It would be easier
if I could learn
to whirl and thrash
amidst the chaos
as they do.
It’s not my principles
it’s my programming

I simply cannot get comfortable
among these shards
and twisted metal.
I love softness and green.
I crave slow quiet
in my cells.
I’m convinced they are possible
and I am worthy.

I’ve given up
on finding the edge
of this rusting decay.
I suspect this crumbling
is the world now.
Dread and déjà vu
slow my steps,
for I know how 
this movie ends.

But I still don’t know how to be
among so much brokenness.

if I can just
sweep a clear, smooth patch
to claim as my own
away from the mob
I’ll be able to lie down
and survey the terrain.
Perhaps I’ll find others 
truly weary of the brokenness
or a path leading out
of this shatter zone
my hands 
and my eyes
can find a new home.

Recorded by Carmen Rumbaut

Susana Rinderle is a writer, wisdom coach, wellness warrior and workplace wizard. Her mission is to heal what ails us through creativity, heart, and insight. Her purpose is to help create a world that works better for more of us in support of the Great Turning. She is a trauma survivor, oddball and multi-identity woman living in Los Angeles. Susana is grateful for the healing power of trees, fur, sunlight, art, body-focused therapies and beloved community. She celebrates the truth found in deep ecology that all is divine, interdependent and interconnected. You can read her poetry in the Malpais Review, Catching Calliope, We Don’t Break, We Burn anthology and at

5 thoughts on “Shards

    • Thank you Charlene! That was me reading. 🙂 I’m so glad the poem resonates with you, and I deeply appreciate you connecting through your comment. Thank you for reading, and sharing the poem’s impact on you!

    • Thank you Charlene! That was me reading. 🙂 I appreciate knowing the poem resonated with you, and I understand the frustration you speak of. Thank you for reading, connecting across the miles and voicing how these words impacted you.

  1. Thank you – I clearly remember becoming the healer just to name my place in among the brokenness. I became a gardener and a permaculturist for the same reasons. And yes it would be easier to adapt – maybe – but that just creates more brokenness.

    • Andrea, I appreciate your truth about adapting — or trying to — creating more brokenness. This is such a timely observation as I explore letting go of even more ways to stop adapting. How insightful and precious that you became a healer to name a place for yourself. I can relate! Thank you so much for reading, and for reaching out to connect through this poem.

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