To My Children

Picture 1979

To My Children
When my body leaves this earth
and you think that I am gone
go out and touch the rain
and you will know that I live on.
Throw your hands into the drops
and splash the rain on your face
that will be my hugs and kisses
blessing you all over your space.
When my body leaves this earth
rainbows will reflect my smile
coloring the sky for you
for just a magical while.
When my body leaves this earth
and you think that I am gone…
I will be the pink in the sunsets
I will be the puffs dancing in the clouds
I will be the dew that kisses your flowers
I will be the orange butterfly by your side
I will be the tiny bird who sings
outside your kitchen window
because my love will never leave you.
My love will live forever in you…
on and on and on…
Just be still and you will find
my love in all the things I loved
when my body leaves this earth
and you think that I am gone.

If Only, If Only…A Bunch of Baloney

She is speeding, forcing her car to race through blinding sheets of rain, all the while knowing that she can’t possibly get there in time. Refusing to accept defeat, she recklessly accelerates. The rain is falling so hard that her wipers are useless except for the rhythm they slap out as they snap back and forth.
Her mind isn’t on the highway ahead of her. It’s on her daughter and the cell phone beside her. She has it set on speaker phone.
“I’ll be there soon, just don’t answer the door,” she says.
“I won’t Mum, please hurry. I’m so scared.”
“Are the police still there?”
Through the tiny speaker she hears the insistent banging on her daughter’s door and that’s her answer. Frustration and panic roar through her veins as she stomps harder on the gas pedal instead of slowing down.
Her car swerves all over the road as she passes a dozen vehicles that have pulled over to wait out the downpour.
She glances in her rear-view mirror and sees the red and blue flashing lights flying up behind her through the wall of water.
“No, no,” she cries. “Not now, please God, not now.”
The cruiser zooms up beside her, edging her over to the side of the road, trying to get her to stop. He is so close now that she can see his face, read his lips, “Pull over, pull over!”
With a sudden motion spawned by her lifelong enemy, “I’ll save ya” panic, (no thinking required) she shoves the gas pedal to the floor and surges ahead of the cop. She keeps track of him in the rear-view mirror. “Damn it, he isn’t giving up.”
Her exit is just ahead, and she doesn’t dare slow down. As she flies around the sharp curve on two wheels, the steering wheel grows a mind of its own and it is violently wrenched from her hands. The tires scream as she loses control.
Right until the millisecond when her car goes flying over the guardrail, she still thinks that she will save the day; she still has hope that somehow, she can make this come out right.
As the car plunges to the concrete below she realizes that she is wrong. Dead wrong. Her last bit of confidence dies as the car hurtles toward the unforgiving concrete surface.
With so little time left to breathe before she hits the cement, her mind fills with him. He is all that matters now, too late, too late, she knows. How many times has she hurt him by trying to save her kids from themselves, how many grandbabies has she brought home and failed to rescue?
His heart will be broken; but he’ll be relieved too because her war, the war he is always drawn into, the war he claims no part of although he ignited it, her war will finally be over.
His face, his arms, his warm body against her every night for twenty-seven years, the pain he’ll feel when he sees her broken and twisted body, this is all she can see in her mind’s eye as the car plummets.
This is her last battle and she has lost. This is it and there is no way out.
She senses rather than sees the cruiser plunging to the ground behind her. The cop has made the same error in judgment that she has, attacking a wet curve at high speed. Each of them trying to save the day, each with their own agenda.
Her car explodes on impact.
Excruciating, flaming hot pain and then she’s floating above the fiery mess on the ground. She knows she must be dead, but all she wants is to go home, run home to him.
The young cop is floating above his mangled cruiser, shaking his head in disbelief. He glares in her direction. Guilt floods her so hard that she can’t look at him, so she turns away. She closes her eyes and thinks of home.
As soon as she visualizes it, she’s in front of her house. She sees her sunflowers standing proud beside the porch, the Rose of Sharon covered in purple blossoms as it reaches for the sky behind the sunflowers. She wonders if she can go inside and if she can still touch things. She grasps the doorknob and it turns. As she pauses in the doorway, she smiles down at the hand that still works. Stupid movies. They always show the dead person’s hands going through walls and passing through anything they try to touch. Guess the directors never interviewed a real live dead person.
Dinner is on the counter, all ready to go in the pre-heated oven. Stuffed cabbage, his favorite.
She had just finished preparing it when the call came. If only she hadn’t answered the damn phone. She hears her mama’s words in her head, “If only, if only…a bunch of baloney.”
She lifts the pan full of cabbage rolls and to her delight, she can place the pan in the oven, and she turns on the timer.
She sets the table and then she walks out to the garage. She wants to watch him as he works on his racecar. She loves that little boy on Christmas morning expression he gets on his face when his hands are buried in the engine.
He isn’t there. He should be there.
“Where could he have gone?” She asks the empty garage. No answer of course, she might be dead, but she’s not crazy.
She walks back to her cozy little kitchen and plops down in her favorite chair, the rocking chair Mama had bought her when her first baby was born.
She doesn’t even know if he’ll be able to see her when he comes home. She closes her eyes and when she opens them, he is walking into the house with his head hanging down.
He pauses in the doorway for a moment and then he slowly looks up. Stares around at the kitchen, not understanding the aroma of stuffed cabbage as it simmers in the oven and then he sees her sitting there.
Time stops as he rushes toward her, cradling her in his arms like so many times before. Sobbing, he buries his face in her hair, inhales the scent of her and then he holds his breath, terrified that if he exhales, she will disappear.
She sees the horrifying images he has just seen because they are still flashing through his mind as he holds her to his chest. High def at its boldest, the blood so vibrant, the devastation so real.
He holds her tightly, not sure if she is real, but unwilling to let her go just in case his touch is all that ties her to his life.
She feels his grief, she sees her body scattered across the road, her head on one side and her legs on the other.
She sees the tangled, bloody mess that just minutes ago was the young cop. His wife driving home from church and passing the wreck. Slowing down as she approaches the flashing lights. She knows it has already happened, but still she moans, “Oh God, don’t let her stop, don’t let her stop.” But the wife does stop.
The wife screams in anguish when she sees her husband’s patrol car, number 2730 still visible on the twisted metal and she screams even louder when she sees his body entangled with what’s left of his cruiser. She sees it all before another cop pulls her away.
The grief-stricken wife wails, “What happened, what happened?”
Her husband’s commander is there. He manages to tug her over to his cruiser and he gently guides her as she collapses on the passenger seat.
With the car door open, he kneels on the wet, muddy grass in front of her.
“A grandmother racing to save her baby grandson from DHS,” he explains. “They were taking the baby away because the mom is a drunk.”
The cop’s wife always feared for her husband’s life when he left the house to go to work, but she’d always thought a drugged-out teenager’s bullet would take him from her and she had never dreamed that his cruiser would be his casket. She’d never dreamed that a good woman, a mother, a panicked grandmother with what she felt was a just cause, would kill her childhood sweetheart while she sat in church with her babies on a rainy Sunday morning.
The accident scene fades away and the kitchen begins to blur although she can still smell the simmering stuffed cabbage and she can still feel his arms holding her tight. She can still feel his tears burning her as they stream through her hair and down on her face.
She wants to tell him how sorry she is, how she would undo it all if she could.
“I’m so sorry,” she begins. “It was always you, only you.”
Somehow, she knows that it doesn’t matter anymore. Sorry won’t fix this mess.
Still she keeps whispering the words over and over. “I’m so sorry; it was always you, only you.”
She panics when she realizes that she is no longer in the kitchen, she no longer feels his arms around her, or his wet face buried in her hair.
The worst of it all is the sick gut-wrenching knowledge that she didn’t have to run out and drive like a maniac through the rain.
She closes her eyes.
Mama had been right. “If only, if only…a bunch of baloney.”

Twenty-Five Years

Twenty-five years she has spent waiting.
Will he love her tonight?
Waiting for him to shut off the TV,
Put the football to bed.
Dance her around the kitchen,
Arms around her so tight.
But it’s late when the game is over,
and all she gets is a quick kiss with his,
“I’m tired. I’m going to bed. Goodnight.”
Twenty-five years she can’t erase.
In the mirror she sees old pain in her eyes
Remnants of twenty-five years of fights.
Wrinkles dust her once smooth face.
Wrinkles she did not see yesterday
The wrinkles a present of time
Now permanently in place.
Her dreams will never
One magical day come true
Because she wasted her youth
Longing for love from you.
Wrinkles tell her that one day at a time
She threw twenty-five years away
She has waited far too long
To find her happy ever-after someday.
No strong arms will hold her,
No lover will whisper in her ear
No lover’s voice gentle in the night.
She’s old, she’s tired and hair is fast turning gray
Her kids are all gone, even her baby has his own
And another baby on the way.
It finally hits her. Yes. She is alone.
Because she chose to continue to fight
Change her life, stand on her own.
When she was blooming she never knew
The sweet soft skin, the silky auburn hair
It would not, it could not last.
The ending has been written and
The characters have all been cast.

Empty Rooms

tortured soul
crying
weeping
lie down
to sleep.
bruised
purple
bleeding
seeping
from
my soul
no keeping.
white light
blinding
in the
empty rooms.
the wind
screams
your name
screaming
shrieking
beneath
a full moon.
can’t stop
brain
from
leaking
until
I go
insane.

Volcano, 2013

We play, we laugh, we dance and we sleep
Poised on the volcano called our life together.
Pretending the molten lava is contained
Playing, laughing, dancing and sleeping.
Walking on broken bridges
Dancing over raging, red rivers
Ignoring hot, peeling blisters,
Smelling burnt flesh and grilled soul.
I love you, goodnight, I say.
I love you, goodnight, you say.
Closed eyes, throbbing hearts
Accepting lies as our truths.
Never knowing what the dawn may deliver
Perhaps a violent interruption as we sleep
Crying, shouting, poking unhealed wounds.
Salty tears drip onto the raw eruptions
As we dream on and on and on…
Snuggled together while miles apart
Atop the volcano called our life together.
I love you, good morning, I say.
I love you, good morning, you say.

You Are The Magnet

every single strand
of my being
strains toward you
you are the magnet
I’m the metal
it’s nothing that I choose.
your words whisper to me
come mere baby
in the shadows of the night
our first kiss lingers
only to be haunted by
our last kiss, our last fight.

 

Valentine’s Day, Codependent Love



Flesh and Bones

Her hands make love to his shoulders
Caress the tension from his neck
Fingers entwined in his soft curls
Her face buried in silver and brown strands.
Inhaling the heady scent that is him
She allows her tightness to slip away
Falling, falling into a dark warm mist
A vapor of safety created by his love.
Absence of pain, regret, loss or sorrow
Blankets of tenderness and devotion
Washed worn by life’s bleaching storms
More precious than diamonds and gold.
His devotion surrounds her flesh and her bones.
Thus, sleep is a cocoon which shelters her
Pillows of passions released time after time
Cradle the woman and her fragile dreams
Rocking her to sleep in his gently flowing river
Drifting on billows of unconditional love.
Floating to euphoria, wrapped around his back
She wonders, how is it possible that her love
Could increase beyond description, young and free
When time has removed the freedoms of flesh and bone?
She loves him beyond explanation, a rare dilemma
For a woman who was born to dance with words.
She loves, she loves and as his love enfolds her, she is sheltered.
She sleeps and she is secure because he is there beside her.

Your Love Is Raw
I thought my love was true…so why do I always fantasize
about leaving us behind, running away from me loving you?
Your love is raw, it is bloody, it is deep.
Your warm, obsessive blanket covers my eyes, my empty girly head,
shielding me, protecting me at night, yet not heavy enough to let me sleep.
Lying wide-eyed in our king-size bed, the buried fights numb my head.
Your love, my shroud, my bad, my dead.
You call me to your side each night, honey, come to sleep.
Not unlike a small child, I run to you and snuggle under my pink blanket
on my corner of the mattress awake in the dark long after you snore.
Into the dawn I weep, tears leaving their dirty marks.
The weight of your need to possess me and my need for you cements my life.
It this all I’ll ever feel, is this all I’ll ever be, your woman, your girl, your wife?
Your need is soft, it is strong, it is rough, it is binding, it is smothering, it is fluff.
Your need has taken over my life which doesn’t even make any sense.
Becoming nothing, wanting something, I sit and scour my mind, trying to find myself.
Can I take care of me, this woman, this girl who will not speak?
Standing on the outside, looking through the tinted glass of our storm door.
I don’t want to come inside. Oh yes, I am sure.
Am I running from us because of our today or am I running from our pain-filled past?
I don’t know anymore.
No place left to hide.
Your love surrounds me, it saves me, until it drowns me.
Your love is raw, it is bloody, it is deep.

I Love You
I love you does not mean that I will accept
your unacceptable behavior.
I love you does not mean that I will allow
you to hurt me emotionally whenever you choose.
I love you does not mean that I will let
you crush my spirit and wound my soul.
I love you does not mean that I will let you tell me
who I am or control my decisions.
I love you does not mean that I will allow you to hurt people I love.
I love you does not mean that I will not walk away from you,
if you do those things.
I have learned through God’s grace, that I can live without you,
but I cannot live without me.