Hollow

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they say the pines a’whisper,
a rustling lullaby song,
as the breeze plucks at treetops,
and cool nights grow dark and long

but their sound does not lull, no,
it sings harshly of a ‘bye,
disappearing in shadow,
and cruel whispering of lies

there’s no bogeyman hiding,
in the darkest nooks of night,
it’s absence that’s a’haunting,
hollow howls in the moonlight

-image found via rebloggy.com, revised older poem

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Unknown

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Sitting on the well-worn, blue speckled carpet, she laughed at her friend, Anna, who’d just said something off the wall, as usual. Laughing wasn’t at all uncommon for her, she laughed all the time, but for some reason this laugh had left her feeling this recurring empty feeling, a sudden jerk into reality, as if the laugh was fake and didn’t quite belong. It occurred to her that maybe it wasn’t emptiness she was feeling, exactly. Then it hit her like an unexpected tidal wave, throwing her instantly off-balance.


She felt alone.


Holding her smile so no one could tell what she was thinking, her eyes scanned the room from face to face. Scattered about the room were the six young women who knew her better than anyone ever had. Yet, that made her sad, all of the sudden.


If she were to describe them to anyone, she’d tell them they were her best friends, her sisters. She’d do anything for them, that’s just the way she was made, even if any one of them might not do the same for her.


When she’d met them all four years ago, it was like a whole world had opened to her. She’d had best friends before, but living independently with and amongst these young women provided opportunities to see them every day, any hour of the day, in happy times and bad times, and all the in between. For the first time in her life, she had a place to belong.


She was likeable, compassionate, and loveable. It was just her personality to mean what she said, and to say what she meant; people could count on it, and often did. She was dependable, passionate, and caring. She was open and accepting of others, even when people around her were not. Standing for what she believed in wasn’t something that was negotiable. It just was. Caring about people and having a genuine interest in getting to know them wasn’t an act. It just was.


Some were drawn to her for those reasons. Yet, those qualities also scared many people. Most, actually. She shared of herself, but not everyone did the same, or with the same depth.
Some didn’t want to receive that offering. Often, it was too much. She was too much, at least that’s how it felt.


Over time, she learned that many people wished to keep her at arm’s length. They wanted the benefits that came with being her friend, but didn’t always wish to reciprocate. Some would only take. And take.
The thing was – she never pushed people away. Especially the ones sitting in this room, even if it felt like they didn’t always reciprocate.

Not only could she not risk causing people to feel abandoned or rejected…..she needed them. That was twisted and made no sense, and she knew it.


But, they were all she had.


Except, as she scanned the room, looking at each and every one of her ‘best’ friends, she felt so alone. It wasn’t the first time this feeling had hit her, but this time it was like an anvil on her chest. It was hard to breathe. In the pit of her belly, there was an aloneness that squeezed and knotted the muscles, rising like bile, choking her.
She knew these women. She had spent the last four years listening, even to all the things they didn’t say, helping, even when they hadn’t asked, and giving them everything she had to give.


She loved them.


But, in that moment, she knew they couldn’t possibly love her, not in the same way. They didn’t really know her; they hadn’t allowed that to happen.


And you have to be known to be truly loved.


-image found on Tumblr, original source unknown; older piece given a facelift


Friendship

I’m not the most book-smart gal,
and I process rather slow

no formal education taught me
the things my heart knows

no golden plaque on the wall
could measure how my spirit grows

and no fancy dress or bank account 
could replace my love that freely flows

I’m just a girl who pays attention,
who shows up when others go

who listens and loves all of you,
who in tough times helps you tow

who isn’t embarrased to share deeply,
to let down barriers and overflow

and, I need that kind of friend, too,
whose love isn’t afraid to show

who understands that the only way
to be truly loved, is to be known 

-image via Pixabay

Mine

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Ahh, look at her –
there’s something inevitable about her that draws me in,
my eyes can’t get enough,
I’m addicted

she has this quiet, humble confidence and these kind, welcoming eyes,
a classic, artful line about her

the graceful curve of her shoulder muscles eluding to her tranquil strength,
her delicate neck and the unpretentious way she holds herself, mesmerizing,
a tactile symmetry that whispers my name

the way the silky, black fabric rests on the soft edges of her collarbone,
making me wish I could follow them beneath

her exposed upper back begging for soft kisses,
for finger trails that cause the rest to arch in anticipation,
making me want to see just that

and there she sits,
tucking in a few stray strands of that beautiful, auburn hair,
twisted so effortlessly off her shoulders,
completely unaware of the attention,
her beauty so natural,
an easy, feminine elegance,
all woman,
mine

I’m gonna walk over there,
gonna wrap my arms around her and lead her to dance floor,
kiss the muscled line running from behind her ear and down her neck,
the one that leads to that inviting dip in her clavicle

I’m gonna listen to her gasp against my cheek,
feel her heartbeat quicken beneath my palms

I’m gonna hold her so close,
she won’t ever forget how I feel about her,
she won’t ever remember a time she wasn’t loved

-image credit Öykü, found on Tumblr

Bringers of the Light

some would say we’re too sensitive
call us sissies or say we’re too frail
some would call us drama queens
and erect walls for us to scale

some would say we’re broken
angles and edges that just don’t fit
but I see cracks made by growth
where love was free to sift

I see expression, fearlessly
when some wish to tuck it away
truth tellers in a world of omission
seekers, willing to bend and fray

because, we aren’t afraid of darkness
for our hearts shine too bright
and we have the most amazing job –
we are the bringers of the light

-image via free lighthouse wallpapers; shared also in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt

Fifth of July

bang, pop, whoosh
sizzle, snap, crack
fizz, hiss, BOOM, BOOM

BOOM

in a haze, after the initial phone call, 
she rushed to be by his side,
tunnel vision guiding her there –
she couldn’t think, see, feel anything else,
nothing else registered, 
none of her surroundings, 
nothing at all

all she thought was – I need to hurry, 
I need to hurry,
I need to hurry

after the doctor had delivered the news, 
she stood there, stunned

in her peripheral, she could see the colors exploding in the sky just outside the large window next to his bed,
and it registered in her that it was the 4th,
the rumbling vibration of each detonation feeling as if it were exploding inside her

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM

once she arrived home, 
though she’d desperately needed sleep, 
there was very little

she tossed and turned,
and tossed and turned,
finally giving in to it and getting up early, 
dressing and returning to him

as she walked down the stark, institutional green hall,
each step bringing her closer to seeing with her own eyes that which had been conveyed in words the day before, 
the weight of those words sunk like quicksand to the pit of her stomach

today, she was acutely aware of the clinical smell surrounding her, 
the smell of sickness, 
the stench of sadness filling first her lungs, 
then permeating outward, 
finding an unwelcome home in her veins, 
thick like sludge, 
coursing and thumping

she could hear the cries of sorrow in the bated breath wafting from some of the doors she passed,
she could taste its metallic tang on the tip of her tongue,
and as she arrived at the doorway of the room to which she needed to enter, 
she felt it in her bones,
in her marrow

when she opened the door, 
she became its embodiment

the few steps to the bed took her years:

she passed herself snuggled on his lap as he read to her for the millionth time, Put Me in the Zoo

she watched as she sat between he and her mother on the yellow paisley couch, 
as they tried to explain why they would no longer be a family

she saw the desperation on his face as he finally allowed her to call her mother,
but would not yet let her go home to be with her

she remembered tearing open the Christmas wrap to see the purple down coat she’d wanted so badly, 
the yolk-only egg sandwiches on Sunday mornings, 
and stove-popped popcorn with a rented movie on their every-other Saturday nights

she saw his suntanned, orange-tinted left arm that was darker than the rest of him from hanging out his truck window, 
his splashing in the pool and volleyball in the summer,
and helping her step-brother with homework at the kitchen table while he looked on drinking Pepsi from a two liter bottle

she remembered the wishing she belonged, 
that she fit with them differently, 
more

the coughing, 
she remembered the coughing that just kept getting worse, 
the constant handkerchiefs in his pockets and on the end table with his Winstons next to his armchair, 
the red-faced breathlessness and the wheezing,
the fear in his eyes

she remembered the devastating, life-altering heartbreak,
the disappearing and the wondering, 
the worry and the doubt,
the reconnecting and the doctors and the testing

and finally, the hope,
the hope which had fizzled away the night before with every sizzle and crack, 
hiss and bang and pop

standing next to the impersonal-feeling bed, 
she gripped the cold, stark metal of the railing with both hands, 
trying to take in all that she saw,
the blinking and the beeping in the semi-darkness, 
the machine whose trepidus noise filled the room

suck, push, suck, push,

SUCK, PUSH

eerily loud and unwelcome, 
it was reminiscent of the sounds heard outside the window the night before

her eyes ran the length of the shiny metal pole on which the machine was mounted, 
down to the swiveling wheels which allowed it to be maneuvered to where it was needed,
noticing the simple black cord which extended to the wall

how could such an ordinary-looking plug hold life in the balance?

letting loose her grip a bit, 
she became deftly aware of her own breath, 
in and out, 
of her own heart beating, 
ga-gong, ga-gong, 
so loudly in her chest that it rang in her ears

reaching out, she rested her hand on his chest, 
feeling the unfamiliar, robotic rise and fall,
deftly aware of the cool absence, 
the force of what would not be

she looked up, nodded her head, 
and closing her water-filled eyes, 
she felt with the length of her fingers, 
with the lifeline in the palm of her hand,
with her very soul

the robotic gave way to an arrhythmic slowing:

rise..fall….rise…..fall…….rise……..fall,

fall

beneath her palm there was only stillness,
in the tips of her fingers, 
there was only the thump of her own heartbeat, 
the trembling cry of her core

BOOM

and he was gone

-image via Pixabay; older prose made to poetry and shared as part of dVerse’s Open Link Night

Seeker

I’ve always had a thing for small spaces,
for hidden corners in coffee shops,
October breezes tucked beneath the
green cover of a willow tree,
for lone forest exploring,
and paddling with no destination in mind,
but staying close to the safety of the shore

for the longest time,
I had this feeling, this conviction,
that I’d been surrounded by earthen walls,
myopic vision only seeing that which was directly in front of me,
small-pictures with man-made frames,
seeing that which has meaning only to me

while feet away,
the autumn wind was blowing metamorphosis,
the tree tops slanted toward something unseeable,
swaying branches whispered existential,
and birds sang thanks to the sunrise
for things my soul longed to understand

mourning doves coo-cooed,
a murmuring of some essential secret
I did not yet know,
that I might never know,
because I didn’t know it was possible
to lift my head,
to venture outward and allow
my vision to broaden,
to peek out between the willow branches
and see beyond,
to venture far from the shore

oh, but if curiosity is allowed to
bubble freely to the surface,
and fear to diminish into the background,
if I dare to dive for treasure within,
I lift my head and apply it,
I see possibility,
I see meaning,
I feel the connectedness in all things,
find purpose in the spirited seeking
of truth

to seek truth is human –
humanness in a world
that discourages humanity
isn’t easy

but, I have a thing for being human

-shared as part of the Mindlovemisery Menagerie prompt, sunrise

Magic

I thought I knew about a lot of things before I met you

but I never knew what slow, deep kisses meant,
or that they could last all night long

I never knew what the smell of the first morning breeze could do as my head lay upon your chest,
or how that breeze could carry me throughout the day

I never knew how my own chest could ache in your absence,
or that I could smile all the way to my fingertips when we joined again

I never knew I could get butterflies deep in my belly every time you kissed my neck,
or that my desire for you could consume me

I never knew that shared laughter could cure almost anything,
and shared tears could say much more than words

I never knew I could feel fire in my veins when you hurt,
or that my heart’s fullness could spill over when you smile

I never knew I could need like this,
that I could feel swaddled by another so completely, I can finally rest

I thought I knew all about hope before I met you

but that was before I believed in magic

-Image credit 7-themes.com; This is for M, the love of my life!