Window

Window.

Window pane.

Window glass.

Window to the outside for my child’s eyes belonging to my little child’s body whose bottom is firmly planted on the hard, metal chair. Forever planted among lectures on the ABC’s of languid language that has been far surpassed by my fresh imagination feeding off The Dark Crystal, The Never Ending Story, the wild pursuits of a mouse in a plane soaring far above the ground, a mouse in the clouds, and a boxcar filled with children and chipped china.

Firmly planted on the hard, metal chair among posters reading, Today is a Good Day to Learn Something New, and I Can Wait My Turn, and Classroom Rules.

Firmly planted among the old and tired equations of 2+2=4, but oh what a world if 2+2= a secret door to a secret world contained in the chalkboard and all that was needed was a piece of chalk to unlock it.

Oh Aslan! Oh Aslan! I hear you roar!

Oh what a world when all that is standing between me and my firmly planted and ever increasingly numb bottom is the teacher clasping the key in her hand.

Rise up young soul! Conquer the beast! A tiny but brave voice shouts from out of the depths between spelling bees and geography where See My Horse Eat Oats is code for Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario hurrah!!

But the hand on the clock is ticking the seconds away, ticking the seconds away to the outside, the sunshine, the air and the birds. To kickball and tag and childish pursuits.

The bell rings, feet shuffle, the window is closing.

Tomorrow then.

Tomorrow.

 

 

I Accept

I accept the day is light.

I accept the dark is night.

I accept wrong is not right.

I accept right can feel tight.

 

I accept tight can be good.

I accept good is misunderstood.

I accept good often hides in a could.

I accept a could would be better a should.

 

I accept my days are numbered.

I accept too soon I will slumber.

I accept it will be unencumbered.

I accept my Lord will remember.

 

Acceptance

 

The Girl Who Would Be Silence

Silence. It was what she sought out purposefully with all of the intention of a jackhammer breaking apart concrete. It was elusive, however, just like Santa or the Tooth Fairy. She could not remember when this quest for silence began. When she was ten she thought to take a vow of silence, but of course her mother pointed out the impracticality of that idea. How would she be able to answer questions directed to her by her teacher? She would surely be singled out a disrespectful, or even worse, a weird child. And God forbid she fall into a raging river, what then? She would most certainly have to yell for help. Never mind the fact that the nearest river was 62.8 miles away from her house, arguing with her mother was about as futile as hitting a piñata with a pussy willow. After giving it some thought, she was able to resign herself to the death of her vow of silence knowing that it would make very little difference if she still had to listen to the chit and the chatter of everyone else.

All of the chatter and noise that surrounded her was like a hive of bees in her head, a hive that had been knocked down from a tree by a little boy wielding a very big stick. The bees were angry. The bees were loud. And the bees were always buzzing. They chased her thoughts with their stingers ready to strike, dripping not with honey, but with hostility. And so in an attempt to escape the belligerent buzzing of the bees and their eager stingers, she jumped into a lake deep within her mind. She retreated so far within herself that she became lost to those who knew her.

The water was frigid at first, until her muscles relaxed into it. She imagined this was what death was like, a complete and total surrender of flesh, but more importantly, a complete and total surrender of mind. So she adapted ways to remain anchored in this self-made lake. Rocking back and forth, whether sitting at her desk in school or riding in the backseat of her mother’s VW station wagon, the rhythmical rocking was hypnotic and helped to keep her mind still, so still in fact, that the bees could not see her. She was tethered to the bottom of the lake, fixedly floating like an aquatic field of Hydrilla. She could see the tiny specks buzzing above the surface of her lake, like some creation on an etch-a-sketch, searching futilely for her, but she was safe in her underwater sanctuary.

And so the hours turned into days, turning into weeks and months, and as it always happens years began to pass by. So many attempts were made to place a label upon her. Strange, shy, stupid, boring, freak…but the labels never made it to her. They stuck to the surface of her lake, floating like delicate white water Lilies, until the words bled from the paper and the ink turned into beautiful, colored swirls. They became her Aurora Borealis.

I’ve Conquered

I’ve conquered the dark and

the grey in between

the dark and the light

and what is unseen.

I’ve conquered the seen

and all that I know

the fears which seek

to flourish and  grow.

I’ve conquered the heights

and I’ve conquered the depths

I’ve conquered love

in all of its breadth.

But when the day comes

and I draw my last breath

the only thing to conquer

will be my own death.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/conquer/

Here is My Panoply

Here is my panoply

derived from animosity

or more like your hostility

over my remarkable ability

to disregard civility

but only as it pertains to the insanity

of your idea of family.

Here is my panoply

born from your insincerity

or more like your disloyalty

to our state of conjugality

not only the physicality

but even more so the emotionality

destroyed by your lack of masculinity

and jaded by your falsity

forever changing my mentality.

Here is my panoply.

guard-your-heart

 

Panoply

 

 

Because People Change

What do you do when you’ve given fifteen years of your life to a man, given up your personal ambitions to give him three children and be a stay-at-home mom, only to discover over the phone that he is indeed ready to divorce so that he can pursue his relationship with the cute blond pharmaceutical sales rep with the apartment in the city and a not so attractive Pug she so cleverly named Toto because she is originally from Kansas? Well, if you’re thirty-four-year-old Maggie Murphy, you silently scream (so as not to wake those three sleeping children) every curse word in the book and when you run out of curse words you invent new ones. You tear the kitchen apart, cleaning out the junk drawer, throwing away old receipts and lottery tickets from years past (ripping them to pieces first), scrubbing the refrigerator and throwing out all of the meat, his meat, because you’ve been a vegetarian for sixteen years. You remember how he said he was also a vegetarian for the first two years you were together, only to find out years later that he did not forgo meat because he was a vegetarian, rather he was too afraid to eat the grade D meat the Navy served. But behind your back he would go to seven-eleven and scarf down a chili dog or two.

You hear the words echoing in your head “…because people change.” And you cry. Tears and snot all intermingle in one disgusting mess and you wipe your face with your sleeve, the same sleeve you used earlier in the day to wipe away your two-year-old daughter’s snot because even though she is your third child you still, for some unfathomable reason, cannot remember to carry tissues. You sink to the floor and think of your husband and the cute pharmaceutical sales rep, who also happens to be a tri-athlete. Triathletes have extremely tight asses you discover, not like the ass of a stay-at-home mom of three, an ass that your children affectionately call the “jiggley”. They are now “in love” and are planning their future together, a future that includes your children, and you feel the rolls of your stomach folding over one another and you try to replace the feeling of self-loathing with the memory of carrying each one of your children. But you can’t so you grab the box of cheese-its on the counter and try the best you can to console yourself in your broken home.

That was Maggie Mae Murphy eight months, four days, and seven hours ago. Since that phone call her life had been flipped upside down. In the first couple of months she was sure he would come to his senses and accept her offer of counseling. Fifteen years and three children and there was not a chance of reconsideration. The “I’m just not sure we can fix it” turned into “It could never have been fixed.” This translated into “You and the family we had were just not worth enough to even try fixing it.” And this broke her heart. It also really pissed her off.

Three scars on her stomach from three cesareans and a mass of stretch marks on her breasts, ten years of devoting herself to the “family” (what the hell is the definition of family these days anyways and if she had to hear one more time that they still were a family just a different kind she would gouge out her eyes) while Aiden filled those years with his shenanigans at the Ratheskellar. He spent those years building his career and his sense of importance in managing multi-million dollar projects at NYU and New York Presbyterian, reveling in his role as father, a role that she supported, reveling in everything but her. She seethed. And she cried. And seethed and cried.

“There are just too many mistakes.” That was his answer when she asked him why he did not want to try to fix things.

“What mistakes? I want you to tell me what my mistakes were. What did I do?!” Her voice rising with each word until her sentence ended in a scream. Shrew!

“What makes you think they were your mistakes?” And so he wiped his hands on his pharmaceutical sales rep’s wallet and walked away.

So she painted each room. The living room she painted butterscotch, a red accent wall in the kitchen, and the paneling in the dining room pastel green, blue, and tan. The latter ended up looking like the Easter Bunny had vomited all over the walls but it was different than before and that was what she needed. She gladly welcomed the Easter Bunny vomit. She painted in anger at first, each roll erasing her memories of what was. These would be walls that Aiden had never seen and never would. These were her walls now. Hers and her children’s. But when she got to the entrance way to the kitchen and began painting over the smudges and dirty fingerprints of her children, her anger turned to something else. Grief. It was an intense sadness that could not be put into words. She realized then that it was not just memories of her relationship, her marriage, she was attempting to erase but her memories of her children. It was not just her marriage that was gone but her family. She could not let go of him without letting go of part of her children. That pushed her over.

She packed away all of the photo albums of their life together. The early years in Virginia and Grand Rapids, and the past eleven years they spent building a life in New Jersey. Their trip to Martha’s Vineyard before children and their vacation to Saint Marten after children. She packed away photos, photos of him, photos of her children, photos of her family. The old family. She packed them all away in a five dollar tub purchased at Wal-Mart, color blue. She packed them away with the love letters they had exchanged the first two years of their love affair. The Navy years. Those letters had gotten her through the bad times in her marriage, the times she had wanted to give in and give up. Fifteen years all packed away in one five gallon tub purchased at Wal-Mart, color blue.

But in the end it did not matter that the walls were painted, the furniture replaced and rearranged, photos, journals and mementos packed away. The pain, the anger, the bitterness, and the confusion were still there. The what-ifs, should haves, and whys were still there. They were haunting the halls of her mind like ghosts. Their echoes were inside of her, the chains rattling in her heart, and they would always be there. That was when she came to the conclusion, which seemed rather logical at the time, that the only solution to the problem would be to kill him. She would kill him and with him all of the rage and bitterness.

 

Lyin With Ghost Thoughts

Sometimes I lie awake at night and stare at the ceilin. I hold my hands behind my head for myself a pillow and listen to the night sounds, thinkin I’m sure gonna buy myself one of them feather-filled pillows one day. They’re supposed to be real nice and fine. I wouldn’t much mind havin somethin fine to lay my head on.

I hear the crickets chirp and the bullfrogs croakin like grumpy old men. Kind of like Mr. Blythe down at the hardware store in town. He’s always got a real sour look on his face like he just done bit into a lemon or somethin. Heck, someone should done thrown him some salt. Then I hear little Jay breathin real soft like beside me. I like the sound of his breathin. I don’t feel so lonely. I can even hear the man in Mama’s bed snorin so loud it almost covers the sound of Mamma cryin. Almost. Heck, even the house has a little somthin to say. Floorboards creakin and complainin like they’re just so darn fed up they gonna snap under the next foot that dares step on em.

So here I am, listenin to all the sounds that only come out in the night time, kinda like lonely old ghosts, and I get to feelin lonely myself. Mamma always says a person can feel lonely but they aint never alone cause the good Lord is always with em. I just nod my head and say, “Yes Mamma.” But sometimes, lyin in the dark here at night, alone with the ghost sounds and all my thoughts just kickin around in my head, I wonder.

This Thing Like a Bubble

It’s a thing like a bubble. There is something wonderfully magical about it, how it holds its shape, its round perfection, and yet you can see right through it.

It lingers, still.

It drifts on currents, rising, falling like a slumbering breath. It holds all of the colors in the spectrum enticing the senses, inviting the senses.

Unrequited love. Love. Unrequited. Untouchable. Unknowable. Suspended. Belief. Suspended belief. Suspended in disbelief.

I could reach out. I could. A finger. A touch. Just one. Just once. I could reach out and touch this one this once. This thing like a bubble. There is something wonderfully magical about it.

This one.

This once.

Unrequited love.