End Suffocation

Too much black
Too much colour;
Fashion out of sync

Too many calories
Extra weight a turnoff
Comparisons cut deep

Stay close;
Stop being anti-social;
Friendliness invites abuse

Children need their mother
How do you plan to pay?
Better find a job.

Never enough
Beaten by criticism
A lonely marriage

Control suffocates
Narcissism cares not
Road is dead-end

Break free
Take the leap
True love begins with self.

(Image my own)

Sisterly Love

It’s just a moth, I offered
that blue moon night
rattling windows
chafing nerves

We’d chosen exile –
sister and I – refuge
from family demons,
not ours to claim

Innocence borrows
responsibility – I bore
it like a badge;
she shattered

Could not discriminate
darkness from her own
inner light – sought
to end the fury

I’ll carry us both,
I murmured, too young
to recognize the magnitude –
altruism destined to fail.

She’s buried now
beneath the madness
her mind the moth
slamming against my pain.

(Image my own.)

Tired of Same Old Endings

Tired of same old endings
in which hopes are slaughtered
and tragedy and insanity win.

Raised by the bottle, learned
to set standards low –
still afraid of heights –
have fallen as the ground
beneath my aspirations crumbled –
a certainly under alcohol’s rule.

Tired of same old endings
in which self is battered by indifference
and ego loses the battle for control.

Mother’s denial a coping mechanism
negating children’s need, obliterating
safety, disregarding long-term damage;
even in older years, when we tried
to get her out, were powerless against
his manipulation, his eternal imprinting.

Tired of same old endings
in which the heroine, resources spent
succumbs to the madness, suicides.

Want to believe in a future, greener,
hopeful, in which relationships
are fulfilling, and life goals are
supported; in which encouragement
is not the ploy of deviousness, and
personal best is rewarded, sustained.

Tired of same old endings
haunting my dreaming hours
unforgotten in waking dreams.

(Tired of Same Old Endings first appeared here June of 2018.
Edited for this submission. Linking up with Reena’s Xploration
Challenge: insanity, and Eugi’s Weekly Prompt: unforgotten.
Image my own.)

Fetch

Father taught us to fetch –
What else are children for?

I did not like his demeaning sneer
nor the way he lorded control

Mother learned to ask how high
when he snapped: “Jump!”

I vowed to be different
to never let him break me

But his arms were stronger
and my fear real, and so

From my father, I’ve learned to fetch –
Anything else I can get you, Dear?

(Ragtag’s Daily Prompt, hosted by Sgeoil is fetch. Image my own.)

Wayward Daughter

(Warning: this poem discusses the effects of sexual assault, and may be disturbing to some readers.)

Back and forth I travel, searching
for her – retrace every bend, curve,
detour – back to the water, the sand,
the beach where I lost her…haunted

by velvet brown eyes – bedroom eyes,
they told her, men with greedy loins,
calculating – I lost her to the lure of
alcohol, to the pounding beat of drums
in those smoky corners so far removed
from the purity of our dreams…

It’s been an arduous journey, some days
so lost in the daze of forgetting; I cycle
back, memories of manhood exposed
egos craving stroking, learning
what men wanted, learning to numb

disappointment with fast-talk
and all-nighters, suppressing tears
discovering that words hold no promise
and water is deep, and going within
is a dark, foreboding place, and worth…

is shrouded by the discovery
that the father she adored was not
as we’d thought, and that this primal
urge for mating was a trap….
designed to eradicate beauty,
not enhance it…

I need to find her,
hold her afloat in sacred waters,
help her feel the healing light
of a thousand women’s hearts
all bleeding as one,

all tainted by the same
convoluted messages –
that lust is sinful and copulation
a man’s domain, and that in order
to be espoused, she must forgo
her nature – tame the wild
settle…

but as much
as I travel these lonely roads,
I cannot find her, the traces of
her innocence washed away
by the tides…lines now
on this aged face

If you see her, please
hold her close…
hold her until the beauty
of her being is solid knowing
and the shame vanquished
Hold her till she understands
the light she was born to be.

( Wayward Daughter first appeared here in February, 2017, and was published in the anthology: We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault…, by Indie Blu Publishing, 2018. This version is edited. I am submitting it for my weekly challenge: roads. Art my own.)

Hiding Shame

When did guilt obviate
the need for sustenance?

This deipnophobia paralyzing
heartless stares dredge up

my truth: insatiable hunger
need to stuff down emotion

the certainty that I deserved
the abuse – endless shame

My fork traces the outlines
separates food groups

My mind makes mental notes
of what I’ll gorge on later.

(Deipnophobia is the fear of dining in public. I watched my older sister avoid eating when with others, and then gorge afterwards. I had not known there was a term for it until I came across this prompt. Image my own.)