Angry Dreamer

Envisioning breakup –
past haunting possibility –
she navigates uncertainty
an angry dreamer

Tries to settle on truth
but with rage as filter
she processes and processes
reaching no solid ground

Love, she concludes,
is beyond availability
plans a solitary existence
until vulnerability caves again.

(for Eugi’s Weekly prompt: haunting, and Reena’s Xploration challenge: filter.
Image my own.)

The Cook

She’s in the kitchen
cleaning, prepping
sweetness, wishes

to nurture childlike
longings – sugar laden
gifts, honeyed chops

hooks her men with
culinary preciseness –
as legend prescribes

wants a strong, reliable
type to stir her ovaries
keep her dishing up love

Disappointment, like raw egg
drips off china plates –
shame of misadventures
she cannot scrub away

only serves tea now –
the smell of liquor
mingled with cigarettes
in lecherous calloused
hands turns her stomach

avoids the coffee maker
in the same way, despises
the way the bitter brew
makes her head spin –
wits need to be in order

has settled now as hostess
caters to near strangers
whose attention, riveted
by television screens, are

lulled by the rhythmic
sounds of her sanitizing
while stew simmers in pot,
dreams of romance shelved.

(Originally titled “Hatched”, this poem first appeared here in July, 2017. I am submitting an edited version for Reena’s Xploration challenge: Stranger in a strange land. Image my own)

Where Ignorance Leads

Quest for independence
born of familial dysfunction
led me down a path of dissent

Compromise, I believed
was toxic, swore against
the brutality of submission

Need no one,
depend on no one
have nothing to lose

Overlooked the joy
of interdependence –
an alien concept

Chose a lonely path,
a straggler destined
never to belong…

(Image my own)

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.

Love In Aisle Nine

Lust ignores warning signals
fancies itself a savvy consumer
commits minor infractions with
confidence, sidestepping anxiety.

Loneliness, nearsighted, shops
without discernment, fails to
recognize that all life is transient
and patience is the key to harmony.

Love – the main attraction – is not
a lone chauffeur, nor a self-serving
commander, feeding off helplessly
dis-abled hearts bordering insanity

nor is it initiated by determination
a product of drive – brokenness
barreling through hurt’s congestion
misinterpreting openings. The path

to intimacy requires compliance,
obeys service, calms egos, a slow
non-consumer-based passage –
no bargains in the commitment dept.

(Love in Aisle Nine first appeared here in December, 2017. Image is my own.)

Hand Holding

Father’s grip
controlling crush
warned against
disobedience

First love
Grade one
holding hands
walking home

A sister’s hand –
frail flesh stretched
over aching bones –
clung to mine
until too hot to touch
I had to let go
while she surrendered
her last breath.

A lover’s hand
lacks stillness –
strokes and cajoles
sensuality evoking desire

Held my children’s hands
with my heart –
never wanting to let go
prideful possession

A granddaughter’s fist
still pink from birthing
wraps around my finger
gripping the unknown
with the ferocity of
one hungry for life

Husband’s hand
reaches for mine
conveys support –
strength to propel
me forward.

Hands convey
what the mind cannot –
a secret language
nuanced for life’s moments
leaving deep impressions.

(Hand Holding first appeared here August, 2018. I submit an edited edition here for Reena’s Exploration challenge: hands. Image from personal collection.)