Unwanted For Life

I misread the cues
come to the table
without questioning
validity of invite;
fail to notice
bodies turned away,
eyes darting elsewhere

Only in retrospect
does the lens betray the lie –
carefully choreographed photos
declaring me irrelevant

Shame directs me
to poorly lit corners
finds me oversharing
with dubious partners
left exposed and violated

I don’t belong here;
part company too late;
never know how to save face

I move on
directionless,
but determined…
surely there is a place
will accept me
beyond tolerance…
somewhere safe…

But my compass is broken,
intentions haphazard –
impossible to replicate
that which is unknown;
such is the legacy
of the unwanted child.

(Image my own)

Distorted Lenses

My memory of you –
distorted by childish exuberance-
distant and disinterested

Translated vacant eyes
through the lens of my needs
child that I was.

Failed to notice
the aura of defeat,
the battered heart

the robotic responses
masking unbelievable sorrow
missed it all

Till death knocked
and I saw you anew –
adult lenses now fully secured.

Wonder at the fortitude
that kept you upright
the love that served us both.

No fault here –
on either side –
just a bittersweet understanding.

(Distorted Lenses first appeared here August, 2019. Image my own)

Not Taking It

We climbed so high
this mountain of man
made obstacles –

I remember the rage,
no more than 9 –
how helpless it felt

a girl in a man’s world
but I climbed anyway,
we climbed anyway

and, instead of a hand up
we get this? Patriarchy
be damned! Your days are
numbered. Mark my words.

(Tuesdays I borrow from Twitter. Image mine)

Child Defines Self

Too many bodies
encroach on peace;
I lack boundaries,
the self-worth
required to assert
needs – dwell
in basements,
mind cluttered,
external noise
obliterating me

Backdoor provides
escape, backyard,
back gate…
…freedom
I disappear
into the quiet
of the wild:
wooded sanctuary,
flowing water,
watchful eyes
of birds overhead

Here, I define self.

(Image my own)

That Kid

Not programmed to comply –
cannot tolerate oppression:
a pressure cooker
ready to explode

Do-gooders sit up
straight and smile
encouragement:
I slouch defiance

Don’t ask me to respect
that which is disrespectful –
my fuse is short
of that I’m certain

Don’t slot me;
leave me –
creative inspiration
is not lacking here

I’m a free agent
a incorrigible scamp –
authority doesn’t scare me
’cause I’m beyond control.

(That Kid, first appeared on One Woman’s Quest II, June 2017. Found poem here. Image my own)

Childhood Home

The place remains in my dreams
like a movie set preserved…

Have assigned each room
a critique – disclosed the crimes

Yet, it remains, like a beacon
draws me to it, begs reflection

What if I could go back
now that I can breathe

Now that I’ve laid claim to maturity;
would I discover a sudden windfall?

Makeover conditioned motifs;
reevaluate ceiling heights?

With resources to remodel
heart open, connected

might I uncover abundance
like a personal embrace.

(Childhood Home first appeared May, 2020. Image my own)