Martyr’s Lament and Superwoman’s Dark Side


I woke before dawn and drove
through blinding snowstorms for you.

I was lost, but without faltering,
I altered course, and when
I could drive no further, I set out
on foot, navigating treacherous
snow and ice, risking my life,
pushing forward against all odds
for you.

So that you could get where you
need to be; so that you
can succeed: I risk
it all for you.

And all the while,
I keep you by my side,
so that you will be safe,
so that I can ensure
your arrival.

But I grow weary,
and my body just will not go on,
and all I ask is that we rest for a while,
so that I can catch my breath.

But you, you walk away –
no hesitation in your step,
no looking back –
and when you do stop to wait
it is too late

a barrier has grown between us:
an eight-foot, chain-link fence
separating me from protecting you,
and you look at me with that gaze
of exasperation as if to say:
I should have done it on my own.

Wait! I say, Wait!
This wall may seem insurmountable,
but I can do it!  I can do it;
just give me time.  I’ll climb
to the top; it’ll be easy –
you’ll see…

Don’t walk away.
Give me one more chance
to prove my love for you

I do it all for you.


fine-cut crystal, silver and gold
sparkle and entice –
the table is laid
for guest aplenty

savory aromas conjure visions
of sumptuous gravy,
delectable roast,
crisp-cooked vegetables,
and decadent desserts

she’d stop to admire her handiwork
but the children, tired and hungry
bored with the waiting,
tug at her hem

It is her strength.
Prepare, prepare –
then wait.

invitees will arrive shortly,
noisily – full of their days,
faintly aware of the backdrop,
happy to have left their babies

and they’ll sit and be served
and remark on the deliciousness
and gobble up seconds
then push back chairs
and wander off for a kip
or a smoke

and she’ll linger a moment
picking at her congealed gravy-covered mash
unconsciously dabbing at a red wine stain
marvelling that she’d accomplished it all
once again
without bitching
without protesting
a trooper till the end

What’s that you say?
She’s sounding a bit like the martyr?

Oh no, you’ve found her out;
Superwoman has a dark side.

(Martyr’s Lament and Superwoman’s Dark Side were originally posted in December of 2014, and have been edited here.  They are personal favourites as they emerged from my dreams and marked an aha moment in my own journey.  Hope they made you smile.)




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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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