Powerful piece, Erika. It reminds me of my brief time working as a criminal defence lawyer for Legal Aid, putting my heart and soul on the line to give a chance to clients, who often ended up spitting on it, and putting themselves straight back in the position I was trying to save them from. Although I loved the job at the time, I got out before I burned out. Now, after spending too many years working as a government lawyer, dealing with cases arising from the darker side of humanity, I know we can’t save those who don’t want to be saved. Like you, I’m saving myself in my words, in working on creating art and beauty out of darkness. And I’ve had people telling me I should “write what I know”, that is, about my time in the law. Well, I know a lot, but beyond the narrow structures of the law. And, probably like you, I don’t want to just retell these stories without some kernel of redemption — even if it’s just for me. Keep writing what you need to; I love reading what you bring. ❤️

sneaking poetry into the corners of the day, and telling stories to myself in grasp of sanity.

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