A Sacrificed Life

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Tote Mutter – Egon Schiele

will you remember
               rocking gently within
               being wrapped up in my womb
               my arms clutching you tenderly

will you know i loved you
               and how i cried for us
               when i couldn’t save myself
               as my death was the only way for you to live

will you grow up
                missing me
                needing me
                happy despite me being gone

will you ache
                to know who i was
                for my loving advice
                on your wedding day

will you choose to
                manage without me
                live a spectacular life
                show my sacrifice was not in vain

will you go on and be
                all that i dreamed of
                a force to be reckoned with
                even without me

Unscrewed

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The battles began, never thinking we’d be
in a place where it felt all sucked out, with intense
feelings of acrimony letting the warmth
of what was dissipate, argument by argument.

Guilty waves coursed like an electric current,
me for the kids, you for your sins. Playing
at normal became the norm while the years
of neglect and lack of focused attention

skewed the connection. Then like a burnt-out bulb,
the energy waned. We imploded and made the pfft sound,
blowing out what once was from the core, the place
we drew strength from, where we imagined a bright future

sustaining us, our glow enriching the space,
giving off substance and volume, where like
an energy-efficient model, we thought
it’d be a while until our end. Till death do us part.

We’d be bright for an eternity that in actuality
would never come. It was clear the light
had gone out, the spark never to return
nor brighten our way. It was time to slowly

remove ourselves from this home thought of as permanent
where we had fastened ourselves into, letting go and moving on,
feeling drained and used up. Made to be undone, nothing is forever
but the hope was there once, shining brightly before it burned out.

Surrounded

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It’s gorgeous here in the Summer. You can’t help but feel drawn to the wide-openness of the land. When the sun shines, and I take a walk or drive to the neighboring town, being out in it brings me a sense of freedom. I’ve come to love that feeling. Holding my cup of tea, I enjoy looking at my little slice of heaven through my kitchen window every day. 

This year will mark 18 years living in Small Town, USA. The attractiveness of the land is what has kept me here. I enjoy it. On good days, I always stroll around my neighborhood to get some fresh air and sun. I appreciate the peace of my small town and the smell of the fresh wind. 

The people and their politics, not so much. I get it. Red state, red town. It’s only about 900 people who live here. And if they could stay living in the 1800s, I think they would prefer that.

I won’t lie, intermingling hasn’t gotten any more comfortable in the years since our family landed. The closed-mindedness I experience on an almost daily basis is choking most of my goodwill. The longer I’m a resident, the harder I bite my tongue – most times. Recently, though, I just had to trounce a few ill-conceived thoughts escaping out of the mouths of my neighbors. If only they would have kept them shut. It didn’t end well. I wasn’t what you would call being very neighborly.

I know things, and people change eventually, but in our little town, I think it will be later rather than sooner. I understand that it’s a lot asking them to step out of their comfort zone, or even into a headspace of progressive thinking. Sure wish they would, though. It would make living here almost perfect.

Sometimes kids are out playing in the park. Today there was a group of young boys maybe 14-15 years old out dribbling balls on the basketball court. The very first thought in my head – most likely, this is the next generation of Trump supporters. My happy brain pauses slightly, feeling surrounded by ignorance again. I forcefully shake it off me and intentionally focus on immersing myself in the wind and sun.

Life continues, and I keep walking as far away as I can get.

Language Of Woods

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One concrete block aligned to the next and the next, each step taken
slapping hard with echoes the grunts of strangers bouncing against me
in an unnatural way. Grey energy sticking on my clothes, smudging in deeper,
my emptiness reflected on the faces of passers-by.

An escape seems justified, the planning begins. It’s a want and a need,
a timely effort when the world begins to close in. Taking care of this essence
keeps my head in the game in the race of the plastic, commercial, and material world.
It’s beyond time to reclaim some sanity, punching out now.

Every remembered hue in the musty yellow, brown, and green of the woods
beckons me with its message of calm, reminding me of blanketing comfort
in every step taken deep into the center of her being. I can already hear
Mother Nature celebrating my return.

My arrival at the entrance to my freedom has the wind layering around me with the softest of invisible hands. I lean in with a heavy sigh, forcing out the dust and mange of the city streets. Breathing slowly, feeling the pulse return to normal as peace filters in between all the cells in my body.

I focus my eyes on the crispness of leaves underfoot as I step deeper into the heart of Mother. The beams of sunlight entering through the swaying canopies of the treetops redirect my attention, eminent trails of rays capturing every bit of forest dust in its stream, emulating the rings of Saturn on a smaller scale.

My preening tender ears usher in the rich sounds of nature – whistles of the wind, harmonies of feathered friends, and the high-pitched sounds of clicks, buzzing, rasping – all steadily burrowing the rhythm of nature into the grey matter of my brain.
Its steady pulse of harmony makes me richer for having heard her sounds.

Stealthily, my feet burrow into the soft mud, a reminder of a youthful past
and carefree days, with an intense urge to push in deeper. Home was offering
its hello, brown wetness oozing firm yet squishy brown missiles of clay up in
between my white toes. Small twigs prick the little piggies sinking in, becoming one.

I solemnly brush my hand on the moistness of the green moss covering
the holy tree. My fingers etch along the cracks with thankfulness for its gift
of renewal even as the crackle of old limbs signals a forthcoming demise.
I wonder if Mother nature mourns the losses as she makes me come alive.

This oft-visited place of tranquility, a site of refuge and healing is where joy
comes back. I dare not disturb, ruffle or destroy what only offers peace. I’ve imbibed necessarily and deliriously in the majestic feel of these woods, experienced my internal essence revived with the esoteric fuel of nature. She spoke and I listened.