Wasn’t Meant to Be

Love evolves –
a consideration
we overlooked
those day when
passion drove us
to fanciful displays

Tried to align myself
to the certainty
of your dreams
but my compass
was set elsewhere

Memory, though
has tattooed us
on my heart;
the ink still bleeds.

(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson. Image mine.)

Synchronicity

Softly, his fingers
caress piano keys –
lost in a melody

Swan-like she drifts
across the dance floor,
enchantment in motion

Their love is like this –
wordlessly he manipulates,
gracefully she capitulates.

(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson. Image my own)

They’re Just Family, After All

In anticipation of guests,
the hostess – always bent
on pleasing – carefully selects
the script, ascribes roles,
envisions an afternoon
of light repartee, peppered
with philosophical pondering –
satisfactory entertainment.

They’re just family, after all,
she tells herself, confident
in the outcome, fatally smug.

Crowd arriving, she fails
to read disinterest in eyes,
politely attempts to orchestrate
interactions, while they cast about,
calculating, shunning protocols
of etiquette, dispersing in
an unsettling way, then returning,
savagely encircling their prey.

They’re just family, after all,
she tells herself, panic rising,
confusion overriding confidence.

Unprepared to defend herself –
bears no arms but the giving type –
she ducks, grasps, attempts
retreat from the onslaught
of vindictive agendas, but the wall
of stored grievances, spotlighting
a history of injustices, corners
her, hopelessness in its wake.

They’re just family, after all,
she tells herself, knowing
full well the legacy of pain.

It’s friends, in the end,
who save her – a surefooted
cavalry, bearing the swords of
understanding, compassion
their war cry – reigning in the
once-invited, now betraying
guests – objective hearts
demanding an end to the fray.

They’re just family, after all,
she tells them, tells herself,
composure a mere thread.

Tables turned, the offenders
now plead for forgiveness,
beg for help, pretend the slights
were unintentional, harmless,
expect their hostess to step
over the bloodied and slain bits
of herself, and with benevolence,
restore her love for them again.

They’re just family, after all,
she says weakly, the torn script
of her expectations scattered.

(My art, entitled She Stands In the Middle of It All. This poem first appeared May, 2016)

Perfect

I’m being a good girl, Dad
Staying out of sight
Keeping my needs to a minimum
Promise I don’t cry, Dad.

I’m being a good wife, Dad
Cooking all his favourites
Letting him walk ahead
Never uttering a peep, Dad

I’m a perfect background wife, Dad
Just like you taught me; just like Mom
Only no one has to hit me to make me
behave, Dad; I learned it good from you.

(Image my own)

Lucky One

Tiger’s eye
reminds me of youth,
how you remarked:
“Save it for luck!”
before brushing aside
my unruly hair…
one last time.

Found you again
decades later,
sipping tea
in a corner café,
dropped the marble
in your saucer,
your smile
bridged the years.

(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson, this poem edited. Image my own)

(Hi all. This post was pre-scheduled. I have turned off comments. We are currently coming to terms with the loss of a close family member. Will visit when I can, but likely be off for a bit.)

Premonition

A mother wakes, moments
before her baby’s cry, or
reaches with loving arms
just as her toddler stumbles

Call it instinct, or premonition

A sister calls in timely fashion,
was feeling a little concerned,
or arrives with tea just when
a break is exactly what’s needed

Call it instinct, or premontion

A daughter rushes to
her mother’s side, senses
the unanswered calls
are more than busyness

Call it instinct, or premonition

Then, why, when he cheated –
flaunted his courtships
with self-righteous bravado –
did I miss all the signs?

Denial negates instinct,
negates premonition.

(Premonition first appeared here February, 2018. Image my own)

Re-de-fine-d

Ask me how I’m doing
and I’ll say “fine”, not
because I’m actually fine,
but because “fine” is the only
socially acceptable response.

If I said that I have been lying
here, for three hours now,
willing my body to move,
that would elicit unsolicited
advice and tarnish my “fine”.

I’d berate myself for breaking
my promise not to moan,
knowing that complaining
provokes a compulsive need
to fix, which just infuriates me

Because my concept of trying –
which is defined by getting dressed
each day – does not match trying
every new therapy, drug, exercise
offered by well-meaning but clueless

others, who may experience fatigue
at times, but have no understanding
of what is is to be exhausted after
something as simple as bathing,
let alone debating what I haven’t tried.

So, ask me how I’m feeling, and
I’ll say “fine” and we move on
to the weather, or the latest
movie must-see, and I can bask
in the warmth of the contact

carry the conversation into the
void of the rest of my day, smile
to think that I still have friends
who accept my “fine” even though
they know I anything but…

(Re-de-fine-d first appeared here February, 2016. Edited here. Image my own)