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Like Emily

Dead when I’m discovered,
too late to know me then,
if not for these thoughts
that kept falling from my head
and landing on a pen.

Mistaken mostly in my time,
misunderstood when given no rhyme,
haunted by the what ifs and whys
of something buzzing as I die.

Eccentric at best,
old maid at worst,
rolling over in my grave
when they find my curse
and dissect my verse.

Funny, the only world I ever understood
was the one I created in my head.

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These Days

I linger mostly somewhere
between what I want,
what I don’t want,
and not knowing what I want.

Confused by my tears,
I’m left exhausted
and internally withdrawn
from the pain I cannot
seem to grab hold of,
challenge and conquer.

I swallow the rising
storm, hoping
no one sees the panic
in my eyes, crying
“I am lost on this
path to nowhere,
somewhere,
anywhere.”

Incensed by my inability
to touch my reality,
make sense of it
and feel congruent,
I close my doors,
my blinds, my eyes,
only to take a peek,
when I feel it’s safe.

I shake myself as
I feel my limbs
going to sleep,
hating that tingling,
(perhaps numb is better),
knowing, however,
I cannot stand the
immobility of rest.

So these days
I giggle because the
insanity tickles;
I cry because the
losses hurt; and
I fight because the
living feels like dying.

The Boots

They were a gift with rules, an ordinance to conform and convert. But the falling snow summoned me to come play. Restless and burdened with sure death, I pulled on my new boot straps ’til each heel was snuggly in place.

I didn’t have to look up to know you hovered over me, watching my every move. Your admonishments reached me loud and clear as every heavy breath of yours weighted down on my neck, condemning everything about me.

And I sat there shaking with defiance in my gut and fear embedded in my heart, knowing I would pay dearly for any act against the man who was determined to shape me into my better self and his better half.

But I surprised myself and wore those damn boots in the snow that day – and I’ve never looked back.

Oklahoma

Picture of Oklahoma

Hell beckons me home where the promise of comfort soothes my restless feet and calms my aimless heart. The demons speak in familiar tones reminding me that I belong to this desolate, dying land where only the slightly insane can exist but never live. It is here that generations regenerate the myth that this is somehow  a reality worth preserving.

It’s a strange and difficult place that grips my throat and clinches down on my gut, a constant reminder that it is both my lifeline and my impending death.

Strangers

While I could not cry in front of you,
I cried once for you – in front of strangers.
But then again it could have just been
the vodka, or life’s regrets – perhaps
it was only allergies that caused
such a commotion of compulsion.
Who knows what God’s thinking in
these rare moments of humility.
I suppose we all must pay our dues
for living and dying and breathing
and trying. Who knows but God,
the devil and that damn song
that keeps playing in my head?

Sitting at Powell’s

I sit in this bookstore
where I feel detached
from the young and
too young to be the old.
Miles away, memories
come in with the fog
and rest their toes at
the edge of the water.
The only promise of life
is the sound of fury
from beyond what
only the lost can see.
I can only hope my
ghost is always there,
walking the shoreline
and dreaming, neither
young nor old, but
timeless in this melody
that never leaves us.

O’ Majestic Tree

There was a big old tree in the front yard where I grew up. From as early as I can remember I climbed that tree and could spend hours up there just watching the happenings around me. From the stray cats to the kids out playing and the cars going by, I sat, unknown to anyone, observing our little piece of earth. A thousand stories played out in my head that are all now mostly forgotten. That tree, along with my buried pets, was the toughest thing to leave when my parents sold the place. I don’t know if it’s normal to miss a tree, but my dear friend, I do miss you. 

Here is one of my earliest poems – as I was just getting started writing (so many years ago).  

O’ Majestic Tree

With your arms held high, you come so close to reaching the sky. And with each season, you carry many colors in your embrace, as the grass below admires your grace. The wandering birds have a home in you, while your blanket of leaves catch the morning dew. And when I get lonely, I climb up your sturdy body, and you comfort me. How dear you are to my heart, O’ Majestic Tree. 

O' Majestic Tree
Here I am with my boys on moving day – it was the last time to climb the tree.