This Is Not Abandonment

I see it in their eyes –
the fear for my safety –
have not been able to paddle
my own boat for some time,
and here I am contemplating
going against the current,
taking a leap, seeking out
new sheltered places.

Survival is risky, they say –
risk is necessary if we’re ever
going to shake this malaise –
no explanation will appease them,
cannot understand the empowerment
that comes from discovering other realities –
promise to stay away from danger –
there are waterways, lands, mountains
to explore – this is not betrayal.

It is moving on, effective collaboration,
we will get along, disclose our differences,
have found willing transport, please
understand, children, we will work
this out, need to create a new reality –
one that allows for relaxation,
celebration – there is nothing left here
but a legacy of suffering, our absence
doesn’t mean our hearts are missing –
our love will be forever present.


Driving Passion

Warnings of attitude –
a fiery-tempered miss
with whom I’ll be working,
tweaks a memory – intrigued,
I promise to familiarize myself.

Perfectly parted raven tresses
cascade over stiff, slender shoulders,
porcelain features suggesting purity,
pierced by autumn sky eyes – once
menacingly brooding, then clear as a
summer’s day – she perches proudly

Rumours echo in my mind –
tales of truancy, back talk, and
lashing out – a trail of intimidation.
Where are her parents? I wonder.
Absent, distracted, in avoidance
of this wayward youth – I hurt for her.

Smirking at my attempts to sympathize,
her eyes accusations: It doesn’t matter what
I do – they don’t care; nobody cares. So what?
Don’t you care, I want to shake her, don’t you
worry about your future, see the damage you
are causing – I maintain composure – she is,
after all, an A student – gifted survivor.

I drive her to a party of her peers,
watch her slice through the crowd –
her smile a sharp-edged weapon –
she settles in a corner, smolders,
then tiring of the meaningless, signals
an exit, stragglers in tow – boys entranced
by her mystery – she does not shrug them off.

She leads us to a bar – an adult space –
where despite her underage, I watch her
morph into Lilith, claws wielded, lips dripping
bloody, black venom, she turns on me,
I recoil, regroup, strike back, calling her
Genevieve, we both withdraw, retreat.

Complete with entourage – she silent
in the passenger seat, I exhausted,
feeling used – no guidance from self –
absorbed teens – craving cooperation,
careen through back country, attempt
direction, miscalculate, aim again.

I deliver my charges without incident,
note with dismay the consensus of
detached parenting – alarmed that
fresh-out-of-childhooders have no rein –
finally find the words to ask my protegé:
Do you think you might be hurting yourself?

Angst responds, without speaking:
What is the point, it asks, when the world
is self-occupied; when rules extinguish
expression; when apathy has replaced
concern; and conformity has no definition,
outside of construed norms: unattainable
at best – we are materialistically baited
robots, mechanically jumping to fulfill what?
One-upmanship?  Social redemption – hardly.

Why should I strive for excellence when
excellence does not acknowledge me –
maybe doesn’t exist at all – I have ideas,
I have passion, and compassion, and all
I see is misogyny – a schizophrenic view
of womanhood that disallows  perfection
while simultaneously demanding it.  How
am I supposed to find myself in all that?

Memory floods back – hopes and dreams
stifled by dysfunction, onscreen beauties
defiled then rescued by oddly aloof males,
women with voices slammed as unfeminine –
mixed messages of my youth rush back
with new clarity – this child is me – violated
and unprotected – her inner screams masked
by an outwardly defiant persona – duplicitous.

We work together, she and I, a co-joint
adventure to reveal truths, liberate souls
and serve, as is our calling.  She, young,
idealistic; me, old and sometimes wizened –
we fight for the under-bitch – the not fully
realized potential of all women – oppressed
by commercialism and sexism, negated by
culture and patriarchal driven standards.

Warnings of attitude –
a fiery -tempered miss
with whom I’ll be working –
and I give thanks that she’s still
residing within me – a familiar.