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.)

Confessions To A Dreamcatcher

Rebellion rages in my veins, Dreamcatcher,
so tightly wound I have blocked hope
I want to be good – a good girl –
like that man of God says
but his preaching ways violate
prophecies a cover for sin
and I am so sullied that I fear
love will distain me.

How did I get here, Dreamcatcher
childhood a lost notion –
I try to minister to the past,
but Father’s sermonizing possesses
even in death, his will a barricade
I need guidance to help me emerge

I’m an unreliable navigator, Dreamcatcher,
oppression’s familiar, no high able to release me
suspicion of promises nauseates
I’m tired of facades – good girl facades –
locked in this nightmare
won’t you please help me out?

(For Eugi’s Weekly prompt: dreamcatcher. Art my own)


Basement

Concrete is cold, imposing
does nothing for aesthetics

At least we’re protected,
I tell the littles, ignoring

Snot dripping, slime
oozing from unsealed
windowsills, cobwebs
and bits of shedding pink

It’s the best I can do:
four walls and a roof.

Except the ceiling
is bulging, mold and rot
certain to rain down on us

While upstairs, the man
ignores the leaks, luxuriates
in his abundance…Momma

Said marry a rich man,
you’ll be set for life,
but it’s dawning on me
there’s more to it than that.

(For Eugi’s Weekly prompt: dawning. Image mine)

This Is How It Happens

Cherubic and reeking
grief’s pallor heavy
he comes to me

Of course, he does
I am schooled in compassion
seldom flinch at raw pain

I attend to the wounds
listen; reassure
but I am weary

My own sorrow unattended
loss and betrayal an inner bleed
know I have only so much to give

But he is not alone,
there is another
a mere child…

Cherubic and reeking
grief’s pallor heavy
he comes to me

Of course he does
and I will sign on to stay…
schooled in the art of compassion.

(The stories that come to us in the dreamtime, often celebrate anniversaries. Years ago, I was in a cycle of abusive relationships, culminating with the one represented in the poem. We met on New Year’s Eve. My son, then early teens, remarked to me that I always chose relationships that asked a lot of me but seldom gave in return. While I laughed it off in the moment, his words remained with me, especially as this man also betrayed me with another. It was the turning point I needed to do some real soul-searching.)

Image my own.

Fight For Truth

Legends make
and legends break
and some are clouds
for truth…

We stalk fame
Wear blinders
Deny greed
Worship lust

Somber propositions
streaked with blood
outsmart watchful eyes

Run to save the children
those vulnerable ones
wounds still tender

No matter how guarded
no matter how impenetrable the walls
expose the beast, fight the devil

Let truth define the legend.

(Written for all those women, men, and children exploited by the famous and powerful.  Linking up with Eugi’s Causerie weekly prompt:  legend.)