Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I'm afraid. But I have choices

I’ll sit on my deck
I bet the warm winter air
Will blow my hair
In a way some might say
Is beautiful
I’ll eat a cookie
Meant for Santa
That I could not finish
On Christmas night
And maybe
There will be a star
To wish on
If I believed
In wishes

But I don’t
I believe in loss
Hugs.  Oh!  I believe in hugs so much
Music is an amazing thing to add to the list

When I was young
I fell in “love” with boys who barely knew my name
I sang them songs
Plunked out on simple piano notes
No chords
Just words
And tears
I wrote tear stained poetry
And lamented
Tender hearts
Left broken
On sandy shores

I’ll sit on my deck
Eating Santa’s cookie
Looking at stars 
And knowing
What it is to be alone
It’s so odd
What humans can do…

I hurt then:  I remember a babysitter’s bed
In Martha’s Vineyard
Where I learned that the “he” I thought would “be”
Had lied and “loved”
TWO others.
I thought my heart died that day
And I thrashed at the sheets and tore my hair
Till my everything was spent.
And off I went, to babysit

We live…when we choose to not end it
And when cancer and luck and heart disease
Don’t jump in our bath with a toaster
We live
And we remember the pains that painted everything
Onto our bodies
The backside of our eyelids
That changed the tempo of our hearts.

But left them

I’ll sit on my deck
My hair might blow in the breeze in a way
Someone might say
Makes me look beautiful.

I won’t feel beautiful.
I barely feel alive
But that
Is what
I am

So I promise
Thought I’m terrified to tears
I promise I’ll try
To honor that life.

I’ve known too many

Who’ve died.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Community vs connection

Both are foundationally

for a strong way forward
ANY way forward
I’ll tell ya, this starts all poetically, but it isn’t a poem.  It’s just another tiny moment of realization.  I live in a paradox of gratitude and jealousy…joy and grief…optimism and depression

People from my past, and from the mist, push through and zap my family with light…a sparkling halo of calm and hope and comfort
And I am able to spread magic
Small, sparkling, splendid magic
And then, my little magicians,
They go to bed
I see one of my friends in my mind’s eye:  with his wife and his three kids
Annoyed at struggles, worried about vomit, with so much family and the love of his life
To put his arm around, and lay beside.
I see another friend:  so very betrayed, she spent years fighting to be the best mother ever.  Her heart is a living spark of hope…always has been…and she is no longer alone…she lays her head beside the one she found online
And another friend:  such a sweet connection, caring, yet intentionally distant. I keep reaching, accidentally, into the void where I think he stands..

There is also the one whose cancer came to her life while she was pregnant.  From a distance, she seems to have love, again. I am grateful...and, if I am to be honest, bitter...jealous

And the one whose death came on the birthing bed…a moment of talking to him, years ago, gave me moments of connection that made me pause, wonder, hope…for not long enough…and there isn’t even a friendship…but I see him in the distance, with a woman in his profile
Is part of the water cycle

we drink what once was
dinosaur pee
Disease continued a cycle that had nothing to do with him, My Love,
One where I end
But cycles are about connection
And life is about community

Remembering that it’s the tiny bits and pieces
That make the puzzle of every picture
So, in the evenings, when the moon sings softly to the vibrating stars
And the sun sings harmony on the upside down
My task
Is unending and large:
Do not become what they were
Do not give up
Do not give directions on life based on what not to do.
     Imagine:  a taxi comes to pick you up.  In the back seat you say
     “I do not want to go to D.C. I also do not want to go to Baltimore.”

I do not want to be the women that were.  I do not want to be
A “woman in waiting”
I do not want to be broken, to be lost, to be afraid, to be
I’m in the damn taxi
So I cannot choose from places of “I do not”
I accept the community that surrounds me,
From so many distances away
I crave so desperately the connections
I do not seem well enough to carve
And do my best to create a vision
Of what I
Even when I do not know what that is.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

poem with thanks to Into The Woods... (just typed, not edited...)

Things are bigger than
You think they are
And they are smaller too
What you do to me
Affects you
And like the butterfly
Wings flapping
The pluck upon the spider web strand
And tremble things into life
That otherwise would not have been
And the connections are layers
Topsoil feeding eluviation layers
And making regolith

Growth isn’t always on the surface
In the glow of the kissing sun

In the woods our lives
Are made of moments
Bad ones
Good ones
But if life were made of moments
We’d never know we had one
So they whisper in our ears
And guide our dreams

Through us they speak of respecting women
Regarding mistakes made
When we were too young to know
What our tongue could taste

And love
Love is all the things
And nothing:  connection and loneliness
Joy and guilt
Hope and hurting
Healing and destruction

Just remembering you’ve had an “and”
When you are back to
Makes it all mean more

With nothing
Being easier.

So the song singing to the moments
Is my siren…remember them.  Hear them
Heed them.  You may not believe they are connected
You do not need to.  You may not know that one pluck
Keeps a heart beating.
It just does
And thus
You continue

Moment to moment
Springing and singing from strand to strand
In the hopes that your dance
Brings life
To someone


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cognitive Dissonance

My space heater rumbles
Like a part is loose
Everything inside me

In the first place
Every place is hollow
I promised not to say broken
So my fingers hover
Over keys and my heart argues
With my mind

I can’t write
I can’t love
I am nothing
I am everything and everyone
I can do it

And every choice screams in the echoes of our hearts
We betray
We honor
We help
We harm
How many of our foolish steps are
Steps we took to save something
That ended up
A pirouette
Into a place where our deepest insecurities
Slide and melt us
An illicit


Thursday, December 1, 2016

our last first tooth

I prefer my pets to people
It’s not that they are perfect.
My dog has destroyed my couch, ottoman, three pairs of my shoes, my daddy blanket, Cecilia’s daddy blanket, two of Neil’s shoes, 3 of Cecilia’s, my sheets, my new blanket, three pillows…
I STILL like that mother fucker better than people.
Today, my baby, our baby, lost his first tooth.  It seems like it took forever to happen!  But now that it came out, I want to shove it back in!  And revel in the awesomeness that is his growing up.  And the hollow that rings in my chest echoes and echoes and echoes.  John didn’t even get his first tooth.  There is that silent screaming thing I do, again.  I don’t make plans for things often.  I guess when I do, I do it without realizing.  I have always loved kids, but never planned on having them.  Mostly because I didn’t think I would ever find anyone I’d want to have kids with, anyone that would love me, anyone I wanted to be with.  I even threw my coins in the Trevi fountain in Rome and asked only for a husband.  Because I had to be sure.
As far as I can tell from this side of things, "sure" ain’t nothin’ but a deodorant.  And I’m here raising three kids on my own, going to bed night after night, getting up and going to work, and on and on ad infinitum…never having a best friend anymore.  Always having to create the safe space, never entering it.  Comforting and caring for.  How do we do it?  The single parents who are single forever?  How do you keep going?  I feel like a life vampire has been attached to my hip for three years, on and off, mostly on…sucking away at my life.  Count Rugen’s awful torture machine, set on low and made to be worn like a back pack…increasing the loss of life incrementally.  I see my hands and they seem to represent the slowing and drying of my heart.  The psoriasis hasn’t fully gone away and there are always spots that are peeling.  And I so often think to myself in a mumble how I don’t want to do this anymore.  The loneliness is a poison dart in my spine.  I got nothin’.  So I take a breath.  I go to sleep.  I try again tomorrow. 
And at least I have my pets.  Between them and, for now, my kids, I never totally sleep alone.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Lessons in self love

The 22nd of the month
will always be a date of power:
the two of hearts
and two is better than one
and a number to the power of two is more
than twice itself

22 is the most powerful number in numerology
able to turn dreams into reality.

He died on the 22nd day of the 5th month
5, the number of harmony and balance

It seems he lived and died with power and balance.

And in the moment when unsolicited words
wash around your head
attempting to seep into your soul
you realize
that numbers
are everything

I am 42.  The Answer.
To life, the universe, and everything.

And in this 22nd day of the ninth month
I read that our fall equinox brings She Who is Black
and I dance inside, embracing her
for I do not see black as bad,
or death
I see it as a color that protects you, allowing you to
the power in

For Kali, the Black Mother, is shakti
Kali is existence

And I, also
am power
I am

I live in the shadow of his death
learning to love in me
what makes others cringe

My voice is LOUD
so loud it cannot be lost, will no longer be languid

My love is large
larger than mere life
for I have lived to hold the hand of death
and I see

I see that destruction can be
I am tender and tough
crying and raging

and continuing.

No coin has only one side
and lo my coin spins
and spins again
one moment grieving
one moment living

I have faced that which stood beside me
which I wished would never die

I will face what lives inside me
that must die

I will devour the weakness that makes me stumble
in favor of the strength that makes me speak

There is change coming

And toward it I dance
singing loudly
wielding both and pen
and a sword

laughing large and loud
swing wide my arms
to embrace it

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A coupe of p words

Three years.  It's like a lifetime.

I still feel him.  I also feel strength, like I haven't in a long time.  I'm finding my way, slowly but surely.

I'm finding it in awkward ways, though, I think.  The things that make me think this are the party/social events I've been to recently.  I'm worried that I don't know how to interact with adults well anymore.  I went to an event with church people...my community.  UU's.  And they were interesting and nice and easy to talk to...and I still hung out with the kids.  And then, tonight I went to a work party.  It was fun.  All sorts of people I like.  I still hung out with the kids, mine and others.

I'm obviously still learning things.  I wonder how I do that in bigger ways, so I got back on a dating site.  Too many people too far away, though.  I don't want a long term relationship.  I am not sure I want a relationship at all.

But I was tucking Aiden in the other night, seeing him at 10, knowing him, loving him...and I realized that I do not want to live only for my kids...or even for them and work only.  I want to have a full life, not for the sex, or even the relationship...but for the fullness.  The ability to see and hear, help and connect...to another adult.  I don't want to put the pressure on my kids that occurs when they are all you have.  They deserve better, more...and so do I.

I feel so different than I did after he died.  I was terrified.  Desperate to be seen as a women.  So scared that being 40, widowed, with three kids, so much heavier than I have ever been...I worried that those things added up to me never being loved, never being touched, never being seen as a woman, a person...I saw nothing but work and fear and difficulties and I wanted desperately to be saved.

It seems that I have saved myself, or at least am working successfully on doing so.  Working.  A work in progress.  But I don't feel that clawing need anymore.

And for that, I am massively grateful.

Just not sure what the next, healthy steps are, nor am I sure how to create access to them.  Perhaps the answer is patience.  Patience and perseverance.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

losing again

Ah... Life...
your gifts
are barbells
and hand weights

while in the forest
a fairy dies
stabbed in the back
by the human she tried to

and in the town
the music rings
into the soul of broken hope
while in reality, the woman too old for games
shakes her head
and remembers something solid


what it really is...

inside the bubble of real love
no one is allowed to run
and "broken" only opens you
because hearts that connect
do nothing
but open more

and she shakes her head with eyes downcast
because she also knows
that love pretend
does less than nothing

and, scientifically,
less than nothing is negative.
and negatives take away

love pretend
from your soul
your hope
your belief

the only gifts that remains
have small hands
more needs
less ability

invisible arms making
mist like embraces
creating aches
where solace should reside  

And, again, she has to manage
the desire to
scrape the skin
off her skeleton

fairy or human


Perhaps more so
after loss.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

slightly shared sorrows

What is broken

Is still broken

It will always be broken

It’s where the light comes in

It’s where the love flows

And today

I felt each crack

Without pounding hot knock-you-over tears

They oozed

Both in and out

Spinning green life tendrils

Into the world, a growing thing

To shade the sun searing sorrow

Of someone I’ve never met

And curling into my own dark crevices

Scratching over scarring spots

Rough rubbing the bits of remaining scabs

And my tears were for her tears

8 years old, so quiet, calm

Eyes like spring skies and hair a soft golden wheat blanket

Straight down her round, rosy cheeks

My tears were for the sudden screams

Even if they are still silent

Stabbing at her mother’s throat, eyes, skin, heart

My tears were for her little brother

Older than my youngest

Too young, still, to remember well.

But mostly, my tears were for the tears that are going to come

Knowing another woman will bend to her hands and knees

Clawing at the walls

Screeching louder than sound

Unable to stand, breathe, think

Head a pounding playground for the throws

Of sorrow

Life dreams and hopes banging against all sides

Of her skull


I’d take them for her

If I could,

But the same way mine had to be worn

A thorny cloak to build up who I had to become

She must find out how

She will dress herself.

My tears

Were for myself

Because in my desire to help

I am helpless

With no gift to give but the desire to listen

To witness

To nod and offer no words and let my eyes soften

On her, attempting to be a silent willow tree witness

Standing guard

Until she is ready

To stand