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.

Defeated, I Turn Away

Back rested against post,
the figure guards the median –
poised with cardboard sign,
a simple plea for help.

Positions himself amid
gridlocked targets – usually,
I look away, disquieted,
but today I do not, wondering

what I could possibly give
this man that would lift him
from his plight –
surely others have tried,
and, yet, here he is
day after day
the same –

and
I am struck
with realization –
that we are not
all that different
he and I

both trapped in unhealthy
patterns, having adopted
personas that once served –
but now weigh heavily
with the stench of permanence

Does he not know it’s all
an illusion – a game we play
wherein we are the pawn?

I don’t know it either –
turn away, defeated.

(Frank is hosting at dVerse tonight and the jive is frustration and heartbreak.)

There, There

I wrestle with sleep –
need overpowered by unease,
senses on high alert,
as if a child
trying to intuit
the degree of volatility
in father’s drunken slur

what will it take
to find rest,
to reassure
the littles
that the tyrant is gone

and life will unfold
as it will
without the stress
of constant monitoring.

History Lesson

Adolescence holds lessons,
I failed to absorb, the leap
into adulthood premature.

Have a son of my own now,
wish to guide him to solace,
help him to settle into a place

where the sky is prominent,
teach him to live without
walls, proud and confident

but I fear the price is too steep
that he will not manage the cost,
recognize that the legacy lives on

that he too has been thrust into
adulthood, a product of his mother’s
failure – an example poorly set.

Face It

Tie myself to instability,
conditioned to believe
that sensibility fluctuating
with insanity is acceptable.

Insert responsibility
to compensate for
immaturity, am idle
unemployable, would

pack up and move
my ass out of this
stagnation, except
anger is brewing

as turmoil intensifies
and how far can one
really go to escape
such legacies, knowing

I will only return
to the same, better
to stay and face
the devil himself.

(Image: www.viral.us)

She’ll Never Learn

You think she’d learn –
collects boyfriends like
other girls amass makeup;
always thrilling at the start
the objectified male’s influence
sticking; believes in commitment
while inwardly protesting
ego creates a scene,
manifests conflict
needs to break away –
heart having leaped
prematurely.

You think she’d learn –
past courtships have
established that infatuation
is the exception: not a trail worth
targeting; where is common sense?
she will not listen, loves the sound
of ‘boyfriend’, is dedicated to desires
of the flesh, blind to problems
balls and chains provoke;
impulse is a good teacher,
she never heeds.

You think she’d learn –
clean slate is not achievable
dramas of the past superimposed
had one too many arse-ended
engagements – needs to minimize
this yearning for affection,
wake up, smash the drive
that invokes mayhem
settle for the institution
of loneliness.

(Image: onehdwallpaper.com)

 

Family Trappings

Mother, twice married,
conveys reluctance,
exaggerates fear –
charted history
obstacles a given.

Father’s outing
perpetuates disconnection
anxiety replacing
communication
group wishes null

Sister desires crack –
living spectacle –
addiction barrier
to forgotten
privilege

Husband’s end plan
race transmissions –
dispossessed of
direction –
a dreamer

Fodder for gossip –
elaborate gong show –
we are lost navigators
memories relative
routes amusing

I visit nostalgia –
repetitive missives –
host allowances
hope for justice
a transfer point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Matters

Ex-lovers,
like criminals
line up –
a visceral backdrop

Another vies
to take their place,
a critical eye
and no-nonsense
disposition

questions motivations
highlights the faults
in righteous accusations,
bends the arrow of blame
reassigning guilt

the jilted,
now pathetic,
craves absolution,
starves for appreciation

awakens to
sickening revelation
that sex alone
cannot sustain
relationship

understands
too late
the value
in personal
accountability.

(Image: www.psychologicalscience.org)