Ticking

 

Every day I open another door
watching an old one close
turning my head for that moment
hearing the click of the lock
my soul in chains and it is He
who unlocks them-one by one
reminding me I am here
for a greater purpose
everyone hurting – everyone needing
and I have something still to give away

Getting to know my own heart
hiding it even from myself
I get surprised – appalled – scared-
by what oozes out of this organ
the hate and bitterness
the color of death
leaving me now
and I do not look away
at the horror of the decay to my heart
once pulsing and new

So many doors – I get
so easily twisted ’round –
a face from the past
darkening a threshold
confounding me –
what do I really want-
which to choose
and which to board up-
pain when the cells reweave themselves
new life where once was merely debris

It is safe to come out now
as the thunder is less
and the ticking is behind me –
the further I travel down this path
the more I have to learn yet
and I find myself astonished
as I become reacquainted with myself-
loins girded – helmet fastened tight
that others should know me better now
yet you know me less

monday supper

stewing a chicken is not about
individual ingredients-
on tasting the finished product
no one says,
‘oh, that is delicious rosemary’

nor is humble celery spoken of
at dinner table
dipping delectable dinner rolls
into the gravy
though without it
chicken would be the less

carrot and onion marry and dance
but are never seen on the plate-
does the garlic moan
lurking unseen in the essence
of the graceful flavour

even the hen
the crown jewel of the pot
ripped to shreds
its bones boiled dry
every drop of flavour
extracted
for the succulent sauce

and the people sit and partake
of fulfilling food and conversation
storytelling with smiles
as condiment
rich gravy of friendship
over all

Spring cleaning

DSC00130.JPG

For years I felt superstitious about Spring
inheriting this little quirk
due to the early deaths of Grandma, Granddad, and Mother
and her grandmother
on dates of the third thrice, then the thirteenth

Spring on its own swept away such fears, this year
with green, with growth, and with hope
looking upward through apple blossoms
at clouds and endless blue skies
watching nature pair off in love

and despite my dark thoughts
I may not die on the third

but I will shave my legs on the second
just in case

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I dislike epilogues, especially when they are longer than the poem, but I felt like sharing this, to explain. Years ago my grandmother’s mom died on December 3rd, and my grandpa died on March 3rd 7 years later. After that she became very morbid and superstitious, feeling dread the 3rd of every month. When she died on April 3rd seven years later it really got to me and I inherited that superstitious nature on the 3rd of each month, and really dreading the spring. My mother passed away on April 13 several years ago, and that laid me outright.

Last year, some things I thought would never improve started to get better in my life and I found some new hope. I owe it to God because I would never have climbed out of that deep pit on my own. Spring became so beautiful and I just couldn’t stop taking pictures. I felt real joy, even handling my mom’s death anniversary in a ‘normal’ way, whatever normal is. I used to kind of disappear on that day.

I love that spring has come back to me. Autumn is beautiful and will always be my favourite season, but despite the beauty it is a season when things die, and I have started to appreciate life, which spring illustrates in countless ways. We’ve only been into spring 5 days, and it’s cold here, but I am excited as the season is starting again. I feel hope. That is the cause for adding humour to the last part of the poem. It seems that every time we pull out of a bad time, humour is part of the healing. So I cling to it. Smiling, laughing, hopeful thoughts. Thank you for listening.

-Rose

sworn to silence

mom said be quiet
some say
I never spoke
back then

pigtails
dresses
don’t tell
months that felt like years
took years
to get over months

is it unbearable
to not be cherished
then try to join the world
tentative
aloof, and
scared of shadows

staying mean
to keep the walls standing
in the middle
of the crowd
I screamed
my anguish

one on one
I was sworn to silence

Sum of my parts

(2015)


I was composed by
Dickinson and Poe
Ingalls and Alcott
Cummings and Keats;
A pen with the ink of
Matthew, Mark, Luke
John, Ringo, George
And Paul, the apostle;

Shaped by the lashes
of a leather belt
and overcooked vegetables
with Sunday roast, and
endless vats of gravy
poured into cups

put food on the pain
eat until you’re stuffed;

Composed by Rock of Ages
What a friend we have in Jesus
sung by saints and the
pure-of-heart-
wife-beaters-closet bigots
friends and adulterers;

Unexpected kindnesses
wrapped in Jean Naté
and Chanel No. 5
a soft, wrinkled hand
with hard candy
wrappers that crinkled
during the prayer;

Constructed by long rainy walks
endless nights without sleep
teachers that saw through me
a welcome friend
in the middle of the heat;

Each cell, every organ complete
I won’t deny any of them
for to remove the painful limbs
would cause the others
to fall apart;

So I walk on
head up-chin out
this is me
take me or leave me
this is who I am
a sum of my life

Until I am done
I’m coming Grandma
some day-to sit next to you
and hear the rest of the stories

Of how we were all
written-prodded
stewed, and shoveled
into what we are





Vellum



I sent my manuscript to members of my family
I wonder if they will read it
I wonder if they have read it
I wonder if they are reading it now
and know who I am for the first time

It was cheeky of me, since
they did not ask me to send it
my siblings (our father) my aunts and uncles
printed on 67 lb multipurpose
copy paper with 92 brightness

I had been sitting and writing
sitting and reading
sitting and thinking too damned much
and it occurred to me, that
my own family should read me