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Open Wounds

There was blood on the floor from the gash gaping gore Licking the edges itchy with healing

tang of salted copper pennies

Bite of flesh digging deeper in rage lust vengeance

I want to feel what I need to inflict

Anger angst apathetic vices

you are full of fire and cold embering flames

expired heat and disgust replaced desire

Wrath lashes through dull warm beer haze

And I spit with spite at the little bitch you've become

Washing hands clean

scalding boil of lye and fat

scraping remnants of memories to clear away the decay of your existence

leaving gone and still going

And I call your name one last time

Pussy

While I uncover our sins

While you were talking my thoughts roamed into the list, picking apart what to do and when to do it and not worrying where I fit in because I never did. While you were sleeping, I ate while I watched you snore and I cried silently and sometimes I wrote in a journal I tried to hide from you.

While you drove me to the bar and waited in the car for my fun to end, I couldn't see your paranoid control and fear that I would find another person in the drinks with old friends I never wanted to date but I knew it would be my last night with friends at a bar.

While you were running away for weekends of paintball or deep sea fishing or concert tours, I was being Mom to our kids and asking my parents for help with groceries.

While you said we couldn't afford to pay the debts in my name, I managed to pay them without your consent or assistance.

While you were ignoring me, I was escaping into teenage paranormal romance books, because these books didn't have a sex life to be jealous of.

While you were flirting with the waitresses in front of me, I was afraid to look at other men because of the reaction you might have had.

While I was birthing babies, you were kind enough to let the laundry wait for me.

While you were battling food poisoning, I came home from the hospital to make my own dinner after the birth of our firstborn which set the tone and my practice for the other pregnancies.

While you were losing weight and excited to go on adventures, I was willing to walk through Sea World a couple of weeks after our last child and years later Legoland with a c-section scar less than a month old.

While you had lost the weight of a person and insisted on amusement parks, I tried to ease the sensory needs of our autistic children.

While you wanted the fame on stage, you didn't see that we were putting you first and sat uncomfortably in your shadows and darkness.

While you were our leader, I took up the rear to make sure we didn't lose children on adventures because it never occurred to you that we couldn't keep up.

While your words said later for nearly a week and I was stumbling in the dark to do our laundry, I made the choice to step on a ladder and change the bulb myself at 5 months gestation.

While I was on bedrest and you made yourself look like a hero, you forgot to mention the help our surrogate couples hired so you wouldn't have to pick up my slack.

While you were working, I had phone calls and follow ups and exhaustion from lack of sleep because sleep came in the morning when you were gone and I had peace.

While you were getting drunk I was sober and moming and driving and urging you into bed.

While you were raging and breaking cabinet doors, I was raging right back in my mind, afraid to move because of where your rage might have turned.

While you were locking yourself in the bathroom with a knife I was irritated because I knew you wanted my audience, but you didn't care that our kids could see it too.

While you were driving home and not excited to see me and the weight I waited to rest on your shoulders, I was excited because you could see the children destroy all I had done in their artful undoing and I really wasn't sleeping all day - just most of it.

While you were punching cracks into the windshield on the freeway, I wondered how this came from a game of punch buggy.

While you walked through the door, we were happy to see you but we missed the puppy joy mark that was the bar you were setting and you thought we didn't care because we were only matching the joy you showed us in coming home.

While you were hungry and forgetting your wallet or keys or running out of gas on the freeway, I paused my day to rescue you for a moment to be with you and be the hero I hoped you would be to me.

While you ignored my suggestions, I found I could feed them to others and you would actually hear them.

While you complained about money I hid in my Amazon account, I found you were hiding so much more and convinced myself it was your right but guilt and shame plagued my sins against you.

While you were gambling, our son nearly died and the fault was mine because I am his mom even though that tub was filled on your watch and the destruction in the house was a mess you sat in while I took two kids to the grocery store and battled the budget you gave me alongside their wants.

While you had a girlfriend online, I had baby blues that nearly ended our eldest son's life.

While you joked about my being on my phone during our dates, you were tagging me on yours.

While you wanted to snuggle and just be with me, the house wouldn't run itself.  I had to get up and be a wife and mom while you lounged in bed and couldn't hear me not asking for your help.

While you watched television, I was escaping into books right next to you because not being present while next to you was my idea of bliss.  I loved watching Legolas, but couldn't see the point in memorizing a trilogy when there were books filled with new worlds to discover.

While you were trying to impress her and found her so amazing, I was secure that our marriage would survive because in my selfishness I saw my happiness and couldn't see you didn't have any in yours.

While you were waiting outside a concert to drive home an artist that wouldn't even get you into the show, I was being awarded at an Honor's Convocation.

While you were making financial choices I didn't agree with or believe in, I was borrowing from my parents who now trust me on business accounts for emergencies as long as me doesn't include you.

While you were trying your best to not be my husband I was trying harder to be your wife.

While your Christian rap ministry took you on tour, I was home with our children, wondering why you couldn't be that man on the streets in your own home.

While you wanted me to be a wife and only a wife, I fought you each semester and quarter to be more so we could have more, never imagining my new identity would be the one thing you couldn't take and that you would try to destroy all else.

While you were buying three touch screen computers and a WiiU for Christmas, I was giving our sons a welfare Christmas from the Dollar Tree, and they were giving me gratitude and love.

While family and friends pointed out what I couldn't stop seeing, I defended your actions and managed to make them my fault.

While you were working to provide for our needs, I was shopping as therapy for the home I wanted us to build.

While you were figuring out our finances, I was planning on retail therapy in the grocery store.

While you hated my friends, I avoided them for you but you still spent the night out with friends who kept bringing strippers to the house that you spent the night at.

While you shattered who we were, I've been picking up the pieces I want, and smashing to dust the parts meant to die while I find the ways in which to fall together.

A Princess Poem

Another fall back Friday poem from before 2005. A Princess

I am a princess

I don’t hide it

Every one knows

Though they see me differently

 

That man,

Over there drowned in his

Hip-hop style

That street-talking-no-class-having boy

“What’s up?” he says

I smile

He sees me as some ghettofied Nubian Princess

 

My waiter

The waiter that has claimed me while I dine here

That dickies-wearing-gang-style boy

Attempting an honest living

He sees me as a puta

When I refuse the tap water he places in front of me

A puta

To some men, even princesses are putas

As the customer

I own him

As a princess

I pardon him

 

That girl

The one who can’t control her dirty looks

The one with the cheap perfume and

Butterfly wing eyelashes

The one who tries to cover her foul insides with that

Elaborate

Covering.  She tries

So hard and doesn’t know

That she too can be a princess

I smile her way

And I don’t care what she thinks

Of me

I know I am a princess

Glendale College Parking

This is a fall back Friday poetry offering from some time before 2005. Glendale College Parking

It’s a dance, really

Driving in circles

Watching, coveting the person

Walking to their car

They tease you seductively

Knowing they’re being watched

Your pulse races

Foreplay

The car is moved

And it returns to the sea of other cars

Somewhere on the floor – in the backdrop of your mind

Before your spot is stolen

You plunge forward

Backing slowly

Then forward and in again

It’s become an art now

Easing the friction

Sliding in and out until

Your surroundings are

Equidistant with the slickness of space

You’re surrounded

Held almost

That spot is yours

You shift the gear into park position

And the hum of the engine is calm

It sits in it’s spot

Idle and content

You turn off the engine

And your car is at rest

You lock up and head off to class

And you forget – that space was raped

And will be again

Once you pull out

And are discarded

And forgotten

Releasing: A Poem for a Failed Marriage

Facebook's "On This Day" button is one I click on every single day.  My husband said he wanted out of the marriage on March 11, and every day so far, I've been checking, wondering how I broke my silence.  There's a lot my mind protects me from in forgetfulness.  I had a community that wouldn't get involved and suggested I keep quiet about our separation. I felt this burden of shame because he wanted to quit.  I wanted to move forward and he was so stubbornly stuck on the past and I had no way of going back to repair damages. So I wrote a poem and left it on my Facebook wall.  I didn't give it a title.  Some emotions are too raw to be tamed with a name.  Then I forgot about it until today. 12552758_1183676484999605_7000040186006802789_n

I willed her survival as I tried to pull her along. Feet stalled and failed until I saw she was lost in her prison of despair. The door swung open on failing hinges and she shut her eyes. How she couldn't hear the grinding and reigning rust is beyond me. She held the bars that gave blisters when I offered honeyed balm.

She died this night and my body swayed and rocked with dried tears and tired sobs. He came and watched me pull her. His hands were tied in before.

She left with all my insides. Her gift was too much pain. My dear so sweet you thrilled me and I must learn to live once more.

Your name, A Poem About a Daydream

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Sweet nostalgia cascades in gentle beauty

Like raindrops through my clouded mind craving your clarity

You are washed anew in the glow of fading memories

Lips frame your name in tender restraint

My thoughts embrace you before release

Not eager to depart

I speak softly, surrendered to the bliss of holding you again

of breathing your name

Bittersweet release with a tender kiss from my lips

After a While by Veronica A. Shoffstall

This poem by Veronica A. Shoffstall has always been a special encouragement to me. It's not mine, but at one point I had the whole thing memorized. After some time you learn the difference, The subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning, And company doesn’t always mean security. And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts, And presents aren’t promises. And you begin to accept your defeats, With your head up and your eyes ahead, With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child. And you learn to build all your roads on today, Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans, And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight. After a while you learn, That even the sun burns if you get too much, And learn that it doesn’t matter how much you do care about, Some people simply don’t care at all. And you accept that it doesn’t matter how good a person is, She will hurt you once in a while, And you need to forgive her for that. You learn that talking can relieve emotional pain. You discover that it takes several years to build a relationship based on confidence, And just a few seconds to destroy it. And that you can do something just in an instant, And which you will regret for the rest of your life. You learn that the true friendships, Continue to grow even from miles away. And that what matters isn’t what you have in your life, But who you have in your life. And that good friends are the family, Which allows us to choose. You learn that we don’t have to switch our friends, If we understand that friends can also change. You realize that you are your best friend, And that you can do anything, or nothing, And have good moments together. You discover that the people who you most care about in your life, Are taken from you so quickly, So we must always leave the people who we care about with lovely words, It may be the last time we see them. You learn that the circumstances and the environment have influence upon us, But we are responsible for ourselves. You start to learn that you should not compare yourself with others, But with the best you can be. You discover that it takes a long time to become the person you wish to be, And that the time is short. You learn that it doesn’t matter where you have reached, But where you are going to. But if you don’t know where you are going to, Anywhere will do. You learn that either you control your acts, Or they shall control you. And that to be flexible doesn’t mean to be weak or not to have personality, Because it doesn’t matter how delicate and fragile the situation is, There are always two sides. You learn that heroes are those who did what was necessary to be done, Facing the consequences. You learn that patience demands a lot of practice. You discover that sometimes, The person who you most expect to be kicked by when you fall, Is one of the few who will help you to stand up. You learn that maturity has more to do with the kinds of experiences you had And what you have learned from them, Than how many birthdays you have celebrated. You learn that there are more from you parents inside you than you thought. You learn that we shall never tell a child that dreams are silly, Very few things are so humiliating, And it would be a tragedy if she believed in it. You learn that when you are angry, You have the right to be angry, But this doesn’t give you the right to be cruel. You discover that only because someone doesn’t love you the way you would like her to, It doesn’t mean that this person doesn’t love you the most she can, Because there are people who love us, But just don’t know how to show or live that. You learn that sometimes it isn’t enough being forgiven by someone, Sometimes you have to learn how to forgive yourself. You learn that with the same harshness you judge, Some day you will be condemned. You learn that it doesn’t matter in how many pieces your heart has been broken, The world doesn’t stop for you to fix it. You learn that time isn’t something you can turn back, Therefore you must plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure. You really are strong. And you can go so farther than you thought you could go. And that life really has a value. And you have value within the life. And that our gifts are betrayers, And make us lose The good we could conquer, If it wasn’t for the fear of trying.

Old Poetry To Remind Me I Was Unhappy Too

I don't do pictures that would put a face to my words, but I thought I'd share old poetry.  Two old poems.  The more recent one is at least four years old because I'm 38 now.  The older one was while I was still breastfeeding, so at least 8 years ago. My Release

Stress came in waves Like sheets of plastic suffocating Like flames of sickness licking my flesh from the insides Like sex without love messy fluids and sweat and no real pleasure or release pain in waves, waiting for joy which never comes Like reek of sweat sickly musk masked by refuse of small comforts Comfort sought after in foods chocolate and icecream, rice pudding and doughnuts chips and dip or salsa iced tea and soda and sugar and waste Eating beyond sustenance, and into blankets of numbness Comfort in the nothing the nothing of sleep the nothing of television Hiding from the bright spring air and in the dark dampness of the hollow of my blankets windows shut and unforgiving musky in my stench of unbathed loathing damp in the overflow of morning feedings Awake and wired late at night while twitching in unforgiving darkness, while the angels of my flesh and desire slumber next to me snoring in sweet nothingness while early morning taunts me And in the dire bleakness of my power outtage, wishing for momentary release in window surfing or a mind to reach out to A moment of vulnerability and my stress is relieved.

And again, I want to go outside. Again, there is a garden to sow Again, there is much to be done, and at last, I'm ready to do it.

 

Poem for my 34th Birthday

 

Can I still remember my last name?

The girl that I once was

I know her now

Though she barely knew herself

I think of her and wonder

How did she survive the life

She forced us to live

Then I remember she didn’t

I’m here and she’s a memory

A fond one that has evolved from

Faded recollections

 

The woman in her wake loves attention as much as she did

But will live without it.

She craves solitude and hardly gets it

But complaining is for the girl that died away

Homecoming, a Custody Exchange Day Poem

I woke up to raindrops and my kids come home today. The rushing winds and falling sky replenish the life the sun has stolen,

but the sounds of life on earth will be drowned out

by the sounds of life that tore through me.

They were each mine for a time then they were ours and now I have to share them

I have to trust they won't be destroyed with the love that nearly destroyed me

The path of healing is steep and full of thorns that catch you when you aren't ready

The first days of loss weren't just my battle to rage.

The heavy bag swung and rattled with fury spent,

post rage teens were sobbing in my arms

Hands that reached for us and held us in love were forging pain with what they were given

There were no words to unleash the pain that was in hearts, under skin,

and we made raw knuckles and tender wrists excuses to cry

Thunder shakes the sky and ground in a mirror of the anger that I pray away late at night

when the only sounds loud enough to hear are the shifting landscape of a life we planned

and the growing pains from a life I can't control right now

My kids come home today so I can be Mom and being a sister and daughter can wait

I will see faces I've missed and kiss cheeks and I will hold my babies.

I will inhale their scent and engrave the moment in my memory when they are with me

because those moments sustain me when my babies are away.

I used to fret over a night at Grandma's, and now I endure 5 days at a time

I fill my bed with stuff as a placeholder, that was once a spouse and is now a child

sometimes he's content with space

other times he lays on top of me, trapped in the comfort required in infancy at 9 years old

The thunderstorm rages its fury outside and for a few days

I won't have to wonder if they'll answer my call.

Respecting the boundaries they set, I tell them my calls are just to tell them I love them

because I know I'm loved I think I'm loved I may not be needed

I feel excitement and joy and worry and fear in the moments where the sun is hiding

the clouds pour out their burdens and the thunder announces its rage

at some point the clouds will disperse enough to let me know the sun was always there

a rainbow will cut the sky in hope and beauty

and my life will imitate the art of nature