Loose

I wake with a start to the monotonous alarm gone off in the not-quite-morning, setting in motion all the things in a day that can’t be stopped.

After dressing, out of the large bedroom window I observe the sun beginning what could be its optimistic rise over the serrated tree line.

The trees bordering our property clench at the last of autumn’s harlequin leaves in their mournful fists, but for one Herculean tree that has fallen, the wide nieve of its root mass ripped up and resting bare above a loamy gouge in the grassy bed.

Downstairs, all around me, they busy themselves eating the breakfast I’ve prepared and readying for the day, oblivious to the storms inside me, which also can’t be stopped.

This time of year, the ground outside takes on water until it is nothing but soft sponge, just before it begins its slow, deep freezing.

Inside, the ground beneath my feet is also beginning an unsettling softening, the imminent chill of winter threatening to make home in the fading marrow of my papery bones.

Like the lamented tree, I seem to have come loose from my station in life.

-image via Pinterest, original source unknown

Your Poem

I am your poem,
your intonation and emphasis,
the comma, your pause,
your exclamation

I am your poem,
your meter and rhyme,
the period, your end,
your alliteration

I am your poem
your metaphor and simile,
the hyphen, your joint,
your connotation

I am your words,
melodic and lyrical,
the ones you don’t speak,
your personification

I am your poem

-image found on Tumblr, source unknown; shared as part of dVerse Poet Pub’s Open Link Night #191 in 2017 and revised/edited for this Valentine’s Day

Alone

In this town, the sun-bleached sidewalks are littered with clandestine cracks that, I swear, swallow people whole.
For as long as I can remember, the sky here has always been a dense gray, the industrial gray of stack pipes and metal on metal, of burning.
The sky isn’t scraped with tall windows framed in the angles and edges of concrete and steel.
Instead, deflated dreams hover like once-full helium balloons, forming a foggy stratus that folds itself into you like time.
Yesterdays are the gravity keeping my heavy feet planted on the ground, and I cannot stop.
These solitary feet never stop moving, not even for sleep; sleep is death’s dress rehearsal.
I move in a sleepwalker’s partial awareness, avoiding cracks in a never-ending search for something precise, something secure.
But, a sleepwalker’s course is anything but precise and secure; I have surrendered to Alone.
Alone is a lot like death.

-image via Pixabay by Leroy Skalstad

Common Ground

it was a strange and shocking ‘morn,
this news they had each just found,
swiftly from grief to disbelief;
not one could wrap her head around

they’d each showed up to mourn the loss,
of a partner monogamous,
but now they sat on a chilly bench,
more in common than each had guessed

yes, they’d learned it in kindergarten,
but none of the three much cared;
not one had agreed to this common seed,
they unknowingly had shared

luckily, no revenge
would need to be avowed;
the conniving culprit was comfortably residing
six feet beneath the ground

Written in response to Bojana’s Tell the Story Challenge. I haven’t been feeling all that inspired the last couple weeks, but I do love a good visual prompt (even though challenges are scary!!). This is all I got – dark humor with elementary rhyming….but here it is. Thank you for your kind words and, as always, you are an inspiration Bojana! Please, click the link to read this beautiful and talented soul!!

I pass the challenge on to these unbelievably talented writers who are also beautiful human beings (with zero pressure!):

Meg Sorick, Author

Holly at House of Heart

Gina at Singledust

-image via Pexels by Leroy Skalstad

Mirror Image

Tucked tightly beneath her chin, her favorite blanket created a cocoon around her as she lay quietly on the couch, everyone else going about their business around her. Sitting on the floor in front of the tv, her two younger half-sisters bickered over who should have control of the remote. Her mother worked in the kitchen, cleaning up from a dinner she hadn’t been able to eat.

More than anything, she wished she was invisible right now, and yet, she couldn’t make herself be alone with her thoughts. 

No matter how hard she tried to divert her attention from the hurt, she could not. It bubbled and boiled beneath her skin. It was sludge, heavy through her veins and a pulsing pressure behind her eyes, threatening release. It sat like a boulder on her chest, making it impossible to breathe deeply. She was afraid if she tried, she might burst.

She didn’t know what to do. How to feel. How to move. Her feelings were so huge and twisted, it seemed as if she’d never escape them. She had no idea how to go about a day without the weight of it pulling every thought to the pit of her stomach, into the darkness.

I wish I didn’t feel anything at all.

She’d hurt her boyfriend, Doug, and she felt terrible. Worse than terrible. It was revolting. But it was even bigger than the immediate hurt; it was much deeper than that.

She’d done something really stupid, sleeping with that other guy, and the guilt had forced her to tell Doug the truth. Well, mostly. The ugliness and shame had kept her from telling him the whole story. And the fear.

She tried really hard not to think about the whole story, because when she did, the loathing was so intense she could taste it’s metallic tang and smell it’s charred blackness. The fear would burn and churn in her stomach until she could feel the sting of bile in the back of her throat. The worst part was, it wasn’t even the first time. She’d done it before and let the guilt liquefy her insides all this time.

I’m just like her. 

It was her biggest fear. She could not let herself be just like her mother.

Her mother had been married five times already, and the sixth would no doubt be soon. They’d moved in and out, and in and out. All of them were men who were not worthy of her mother’s love, none who treated her mother with respect. Men who took. Who hurt. And it seemed as if her mother searched for carbon copies, over and over, leaving the good ones in her wake. She cheated on every one, and always seemed to be looking for a plan B. And it often felt like she and her sisters were just along for the ride, and the ride had no breaks.

How on earth will I ever be able to outrun that? Look what I’ve already done, and I’m only 17.

It took her by complete surprise when her mother knelt down next to the couch and stroked her hair. It was uncharacteristic; she was not cold, but she was also not really a huggy-touchy type. Vulnerability wasn’t in her wheelhouse.

“Are you going to be okay,” her mother asked, making eye contact.

“I don’t want to end up like you,” she replied, through quivering lips and involuntary tears while maintaining eye contact, the hurt ans fear vibrating softly in each word. She couldn’t believe she’d said it aloud, but it had been sitting right there, on the tip of her tongue, for so very long. And maybe, just maybe, her mother might understand. Maybe she could help. Maybe it would help.

But, no other words passed between them. No words were needed; her mother’s eyes had replied.

Hiding tears of her own, her mother stood and walked away.

-image credit studiojoslizen, found via Pinterest; edited older post