Chasms

Old friend, I would visit you
but this compulsive state of
martyrdom delays our reunion;
then you slip my mind.

You wouldn’t recognize me –
this mask I wear, a product
of the toxicity that I play host to,
puts a life on my kind-heartedness

I want to be helpful
but carry a burden of failures –
ghosts from childhood home
that plug my memory

I have hurt so many,
neglected, now lost; family –
these useless ties are shadows
lurking, directing me –

I am sensitive, wanting
to exile the negativity, have been
taught to be considerate, but
cannot erase the inconsistencies

Spend too much time
browsing, delivering a fragment
of the torment that lies within;
am over-involved with self

Really want to be my best
in search of something greater
but today the frustration
is too raw, am at a loss

Old friend, I have reverted back
to dependence, manipulating,
am mentally unstable,
cannot find closure

in all the scattered pieces –
all I have to offer are bit,
disappointing, really – stored
memories that menace

Believe me when I say
I am working hard; want to start
fresh, have a goal in mind,
have not forgotten you

but am running out of
options, frustrated, can’t catch
a break, as the distance
between us widens.

(Chasms first appeared here October, 2106. Image my own)

Most Saturdays I include an audio recording, but this week my voice is not cooperating.

A Falling Out

Drunken bodies –
silhouettes of adults –
ignore posted warnings
and locked gates –
clumsily scale fences
and plunge into dark,
their hoots echoing
between uniformly
lined-up balconies –
pristine rows of duplicate
houses, trimmed beds
and cement curbs
punctuating order.

I watch, horrified,
feel the bile rise,
have signed responsibility,
will bear the brunt
of any damage –
am burdened with worry
unwilling and unable
to take such a risk;
walk away and await
the fallout…

A vainless fret –
two old women
testing the rules,
stretching the limits
of structured guidelines
more ridiculed than
prosecuted, but the rift
has been solidified

used, I feel, and
disrespected, enraged –
not yet able to examine
the tension settings
of self-imposed restraints,
carefully guarded decorum
choking out compassion –
sensibility rattled.

(The story behind the poem is posted at One Woman’s Quest II)

Relationship Saboteur

Open to sisterhood,
letting my guard down,
pledging reliability

Just can’t find suitably
sparkly holder to house
my pragmatism, hate

being second-rate
when it comes to
abundance; I am

solid, ebony, earthen
know that I have value
but cannot locate it –

maybe a little contraband
would loosen my subconscious
permit release, have been

the subject of anti-social
musings, imposed by a
mother, overwhelmed

who cared to be with a
narcissist; have speculated,
imbibed, cried righteous

intolerance – all a hunt
for independence, an exit,
reversal of tracks, gears

turning; I am charcoal
shining, aged, more than
this singular identity

useful to excess, yet
unfamiliar with protocols
suspicious of kindness

would sell everything
I have, give up the search
reveal a playful ( lapsed )

side, revisit old strengths
to discover a new order
but the former glitter

like surplussed sequins
puckering plenitude –
without light, I am worn

questioning widowhood
once married to intention
now misplaced, purpose

stashed under so much
debris, would need willing
interloper to rifle through

help me find my dreams:
shared responsibility implied
only betrayers welcome.

(Image: www.personalityprogram.com)

 

 

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 trying
to will my body to movement
that would elicit unsolicited
advice and tarnish my “fine”

I’d berate myself for breaking
my promise not to complain
knowing that complaining
provokes compulsive needs
to fix which makes me angry

Because my concept of trying –
which is defined by getting dressed
every 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 it 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 can get on
about 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 am anything but.

 

 

Angels Watch Over Me

A letter came today  –
an old-fashioned,
hand addressed,
post delivered,
greeting.

It’s the second
in two weeks –
simple messages
of encouragement,
heartfelt.

It’s from the same
angel that everyday
texts me a message –
a positive missive,
uplifting.

A letter came today,
and I felt ten years old,
special, remembered –
humbled by a simple act,
blessed.

A friend came by today,
had a rare day off –
thought of me –
offered her services,
selflessly.

Her confidence buoying,
we ventured out – pedi’s
then lunch – her quiet
offer of an elbow,
reassuring.

We talked about life –
grandchildren, husbands,
the state of the world,
and I felt normal,
alive.

A friend came by today –
and I was a kid again,
arm-in-arm with her bestie,
spontaneous and free,
cherished.

Maybe, Leave Me Out of It?

Please be warned,
if you invite me to share
in an issue about which
you are overworked,
I will involve myself.

While you are
attempting to ascend,
I will be vetting out
the underminer –
aiming at sizeable
transformation.

I will dress myself
in false shades of
compassion, pretend
grace, while all the
while prodding –
trigger-happy.

No doubt, my
pursuit will result
in mortal injury –
chasing redundancies
is an obsession
of mine.

While you’re looking
for closure, I will
be killing the
proverbial
‘fat lady”
so there will
be no end.

Please be warned,
if you engage my
participation,
on any level,
you can be
sure of
overkill.