Reality


the harsh light peaked through, 
shining on her now wrinkled face,
and I got a glimpse of reality;
I saw just how time had passed

she is beautiful;
weathered by gritty perseverance, 
and scarred by wisdom she’d never asked for

-image via Pixabay 

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Summer

This is my first summer off since I began working 30 years ago. For 10 years, I worked long hours in the juvenile corrections field, which was so very rewarding, but also soul twisting. The last 14 years, I've worked 50-60 hour weeks with no sick or personal time, and until 2 years ago, I took only one short vacation each of those years. My soul is exhausted and in need of revitalization. 

For the summer, I am working 1 day a week, and the other days I do have many family responsibilities, but I also have free time that I've never had before. It feels so good.

As much as I'd love to use much of the free time to read and write, my heart is telling me I need to use it differently. My children are growing fast, and sooner than I'd like, they'll be gone. My husband enjoys outdoor activities and loves nothing more than for me to accompany him. The house we've loved and lived within for 20 years is being remodeled, amidst the process of becoming in unison with those who inhabit it, and my elbow grease is contributing.

My heart is telling me my home needs some love, both figuratively and literally. This summer, my heart and spirit are leading me home, and it is breathing in me new life. 

I will only be here sporadically, but I'll carry your words in my heart. Have an amazing summer, all! 

Angela

*image via Pixabay

Words Are Not Enough

how does one thank someone 
who puts our needs above his own,
who blankets us in support
picking up the slack while we grow?

how does one thank someone
who cradled my babies in his arms,
and always in his heart
as they face the risk of harm?

how does one thank someone
who leads with love and logic, too,
checking ego at the door 
while we evolve, always anew?

how does one thank the husband
who inspires us all everyday,
the father of my children, 
the epitome of love in every way?

a few spoken words could never be enough
to express what my heart has to say,
so I’ll keep showing my love and gratitude,
for this amazing man, every day

-image via Pixabay

Never End


she sat on the couch, 
the smell of freshly popped popcorn laced with a faint whisper of strawberry shampoo filling the air around her, 
as her youngest daughter folded herself into her,
arms wrapping years around her small frame,
holding them in

she glanced from one side to the other,
catching her oldest daughter in a throw-your-head-back giggle,
and her husband with his face all smile and eyes bright with joy

and just like that,
she felt them all blow through her chest, 
simultaneously filling her to all her edges,
and turning her to dust 

God, she was happy,
happier than she’d ever been

and she never wanted it to end

-stock image via Pinterest

Unbirthday


Ain’t nobody celebratin’
No phone calls or happy wishes
No songs a’ dedicatin’
Or favorite dinner dishes

Ain’t no floaty balloons
No fancy cake with flowers
Just me, starin’ at the moon
Sittin’ ‘lone, countin’ hours 

It ain’t my favorite day
Reminded I was birthed and forsaken
So I use the 364 unbirthdays
To celebrate my makin’

-image from Alice and Wonderland via Tumblr; shared in response to the Mindlovemisery Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, unbirthday; it’s not my birthday, and this isn’t indicative of my experience, just imagining how it might feel

Reformation 

Your love required a cost
I was willing to pay
I spent and I spent
But you still walked away

Didn’t matter that you took me
Or let weekends slip by
Rarely called to check in
Or hugged me when I cried

I wanted a Daddy
Who actually stayed
Who was kind and truly cared
Didn’t throw me away

But you left and stayed gone
With not even a word
As if I had no worth
As if my love was no good

I searched to find you
Tracked you down through my brother
How did he know your whereabouts?
Did you know there was another?

Then you got sicker
Came back to our hometown
Expected me to forget
To always be around

And because of my M
Who’s helped pick up my pieces
Support as I slowly glued
And unfolded the creases

I opened my heart to you
I forgave the undoing
All the forgotten feelings
To see where we were going

Because of this man
Who taught me men who are strong
Hold your hand always
Even when you are wrong

They stay when they love you
They weather the storms
They keep you from tipping
And pick you up when you’re worn

Because of this man
Who protected, kept me safe
I could see it in you, too
The strength and love in your face

And, once again
I let hope overgrow
Was there by your side
Until your last breath did flow

I wouldn’t change that
Even though it broke my heart
I’m glad I began to know you
And we were able to re-start

I miss you 

-image via Pixabay, inspired by the Kelly Clarkson song Piece by Piece

Her Love

her love is overwhelming,
terrifying, even

she knows things, people,
feels them to her marrow

her love wraps around them,
folding upon itself within her,
taking up so much space inside,
she sometimes feel as though
she needs to hide from it,
that life and love ask
far too much of her

sometimes, the love is so tight inside,
she isn’t sure she can endure it,
so she tries to find a way to escape it,
just for a while

but the things she needs
to do for herslelf,
in order to rest her heart and mind,
hurt the people she loves

her survival sometimes means
hurting the people she loves,
not because she doesn’t love them

but because she loves them too much

-artwork, Spirit of the Heart, by Susie Addicks

Mirror Image

Tucked tightly beneath her chin, her favorite blanket created a cocoon around her as she lie quietly on the couch, everyone else going about their business around her. Sitting on the floor in front of the tv, her younger half-sisters bickered over who should have control of the remote. Her mom 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 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.

It was hurt, there was no doubt. She’d hurt him, 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.

Her mom 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 mom knelt down next to the couch and stroked her hair. It was uncharacteristic; she was not cold, but she was also not a huggy-touchy type. Vulnerability wasn’t in her wheelhouse.

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

“I don’t want to end up like you,” she replied, through quivering lips and involuntary tears, but maintaining eye contact, the hurt vibrating softly with 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 mom might understand. Maybe she could help. Maybe it would help.

But, no other words passed between them. No words were needed. Her mom’s eyes had replied.

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

-image credit studiojoslizen, found via google images