Bad Company

Bad Company

I sat with unrighteous anger.
Anger that makes you shake, that makes your hands numb, your jaw tight, your chest heavy.
Anger that starts in your toes, courses through your body, into your eyes and then down your cheeks.

I sat with It. I had to; It seemed to insist upon it.
The choice didn’t feel as if it was my own.

Anger travelled with me for several days. I could not shake It.
We sat together and simmered.
We fed off of one another.
We became inseparable.
Sitting with anger comforted me; we were the same, united, belonging to one another.

I sat with anger until my head ached.
As It tightened Its grip on me, I felt It digging into my skin. I pulled away but It tugged at me.
I relented, too afraid to give up the safety of its embrace.

I wondered how long anger and I would be together.
I wanted to ask It if It would sit beside me forever but anger had long ago stopped answering my questions.

I sat with anger and suddenly, I noticed that sadness had joined us, settling in beside us and seamlessly joining our clan.

I sat with anger and It did what It does best; It consumed me, making me blind to everything else, even my own secret yearning to be free.
I played into Its hands, repeatedly recounting the ways in which my anger was warranted.

I sat with unrighteous anger.
It was cunning and not without charm; I was smitten.
It drew me to Its side, making seductive promises that It never intended to keep.

And then one day, I did the unthinkable, I stood up.
Anger reached for me, but I was suddenly unstoppable.
It begged me to stay, but I was resolute.
Anger incredulously asked me how I could betray It and I replied simply, “I feel empty sitting beside you.”

With Humble Clarity,


  1. Gail Thompson

    Powerful as only anger can be. It gave me such a yearning to break free. Thank you for resolving it, desolving it. I am still wiping away the tears.

  2. Becky Reese

    Thanks for sharing this. It is profound and moving.

    I also loved your dandelion story for all ages this past Sunday too.

    You are a blessing among us! Thank you!

  3. Mark Gorkin

    Really engaging personal share, Kelli. You capture the sensory powerfully and beautifully. Your words evoked memories of my past poetic take:

    Anger! That double-edged power source. It’s the high-octane emotion for blazing performance and for igniting a legitimate grievance. Yet, when it’s bottled up, we smolder away; when we erupt, it may engulf us. And, when we are the target of a volatile flamethrower, there will be scars. (Gorkin, 1986)

  4. Kathy Parker

    Oh, Kelli — Thanks for your honesty about something we all experience and wish we could somehow do better with it. This was so helpful to read! Thank you again!

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