A. B. Cofer’s Not Enough, Just Enough is the first poetry collection I have read which strikes the beautiful yet painful balance of healing. Although Cofer masterfully considers the dark and the light, she also explores the grey.
Opening with ‘depression’, Cofer immediately establishes this collection to read for comfort. I would say, at times, the reader should be aware Cofer explicitly deals with self-harm and rape. But I appreciate the need for these experiences to be acknowledged and shared. Cofer does not shy away and encourages her reader to confront the darkness and love within themselves.
Consequently, reading this collection felt like reading a journal as Cofer structurally charts changes as time passes; the different paths we end up on or are forced upon. In this way, Cofer explores pain, heartache, love, loss, grief and healing.
But, as I said in the beginning, what Cofer does best is reveal the fluctuation in healing – the grey. Her poems illustrate there there is no clear way to heal. Healing is not linear and to feel joy you must feel sadness. Cofer teaches any reader that okay is okay, enough is enough and love will flourish because love must.
“I spent so much time trying to figure out how to
that I should do what it takes to
patch up the leaks
And I know I’ll always
be halfway in the water but
at least now I know what it takes
to stay afloat” – Life jacket