Window Cleaning

Married addiction
adopted denial
settled for basics

Espoused spirituality
ignored infidelity,
pulled down the blinds.

Believed compassion
could compensate
for indifference.

Limited my outlook
to windows, too insecure
to de-smudge the pane.

Missed the gaping doorways,
the blatant rudeness
of belligerent disrespect

Till withdrawal prompted
accountability, commanded
ownership, changed the lock.

(Image from personal collection.)

Old Codgers

Idleness fills his hours
as if time knows no limits

I devour moments, afraid
tomorrow will forget me

we see-saw between
treacherous righteousness
and fusty avoidance

ignoring balance –
a sensible response.

(Inspired by the perils of an aging marriage, and submitted for Ragtag Community’s prompt:  fusty.)  Image from personal collection.

Rage as Catalyst

This rage –
this storm,
waves crashing
against walls
impenetrable

I am ice,
unforgiving,
unrepentant,
wounded

thrashing
against a beast
unwittingly
played by you

We freeze.

I’ve come undone;
you are battered.
It is irreparable
absolute

until one of us
shifts, and fear
surges, unleashing
tears

and transformation.

A Bee’s Perspective

A bee, caught
in a violent draught,
collides with woman

her body a salty
concrete wall
of frenzy, she is rigid,
obsessed, unspoken rage

emanating from her pores –
a gale force spiral, woman-made
vortex threatening the sanctity
of her contrived domesticity

Normally, she would swat at him –
is aware of the potential for venom
delivered via puncture – cannot pull
herself out of the vacuum of fixation

eyes riveted, hands locked on video
controls, breath shallow, heart pounding
a rabid diatribe of self – loathing:

useless woman,
irresponsible,
neglectful,
unworthy,
guilty,
fat

with each beat the tempest grows
perceptibly, the bee breaks free,
encircles the figure of a lone man
bent over a fragrant cup of brew,
is dismissed by a distracted swat

lazily careens upward, buzzing
past a sleeping child, and settling
on a sweet sticky cheek, startling
its owner, who lashes out then rises

unsteady legs toddling in search
of Momma! , the whine a catalyst,
piercing his mother’s mania –
her instincts now cat-like, body

pouncing past the insolent insect,
arms reaching towards pudgy limbs
thrusting forward into loosely
attached guard rails, now plunging

the bee surveilles the scene –
a final circuitous flight before
finding escape, the drone of his wings
a testament to the glory of being a bee.

(Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem which exemplifies simultaneity.  A Bee’s Perspective first appeared in May, 2017.)

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Ode To The Road

A kettle over boiled
will put him in a snit
Leaving a light on,
a sin I often commit.

He forgets the garbage
leaves it in public sight
likes clutter around him
causes me such fright.

Annoyances are doubled
when living in tiny space
yet never will they overtake
the magic of this chase…

For everyday is adventure
when life is on the road
imagine all the memories
and stories yet to be told.

It’s Not Pretty

I drag my marriage
through childhood,
past my mother’s critiques
and sister’s insanity,
expose the woman
my father longed to be,
strip them all down
and parade them
full monty,
our sordidness
splayed across the floor
like shepherd’s pie
smashed into linoleum –
a mess of madness
and emotion and
cranked out fables:
denial served up
as acceptable fare.

I am obsessed –
driven by compulsion
to cleanse the sticky,
rotting muck oozing
through the cracks
of our faulty foundation,
need to sanitize floorboards,
unearth explanations
salvage what thread
of sensibility remains
before this orgy
of dysfunction
derails progress
drags my childhood
through marriage.

Marry Well

Can we talk? said he
chest burdened,
bursting to confess

It’s about our living
situation, you see…
well, maybe you don’t

It’s just that, I have
noticed things are
getting out of hand

and I know you try
hard, and all, but
I’m having trouble

seeing, and I thought,
well, wondered if,
maybe we could…

Whatever are you
rambling on about?
she snapped, clearly

disgruntled; get to
the point – she wasn’t
listening, mind fixed on

task at hand – needed
to find a solution to
growing dissatisfaction

could not longer tolerate
the hellish conditions
of their cesspool lives

to be perfectly candid
she said, we are swimming
around in our own shit

it’s time we moved on!
I couldn’t agree more,
he sighed with relief

content again that he’d
made the right choice
wedding a frank woman.

(The Daily Post prompt is candid.  Photo from personal collection)

Seasons of Love

Winter came early –
seeped into intimate
corners, froze hearts.

Walls papered white,
intending cheer, only
accented bitter cold.

Layers of submission,
hope, denial, ineffectual
in refueling the warmth.

She followed him down
the unavoidable slope
deep into the abyss.

Chilled, shaken she
braced for the arduous
trek ahead, injected

lightness into an
impossible situation,
committed, unaware

that he’d moved on,
abandoned her with his
customary indifference.

Years later, thawed
by the warmth of solitude
she reflected, wondered

how the blatancy of his
oddities has escaped her –
his fixation on antiquated

ideals, how he furnished
her mind with incoherencies,
collected things, not values.

She had merely been
an observer in his life,
yet it had escaped her

that it was the fiery
summer of her soul,
that had melted his ice

her scorching, all –
embracing passion
that had united them

and, as in all things
seasonally inevitable,
their love would die.

(Seasons Of Love originally appeared in February 2016.)