(Self) Portrait of a Waitress

Jumbo Jet
they called her –
fast on her feet,
zooming in,
swooping up trays,
delivering with flight-
attendant flair.

When did she turn
to autopilot,
stop paying attention
to her destination?

Didn’t she know
she was set
on a crash course,
headed for disaster?

Tried to warn her,
wake her from stupor;
told me she’d reset
but danger remains.

She’s cruising now –
over-sized
turbo-lacking
under-fuelled,
no longer able
to soar – trapped
in a treacherous game.

Waits tables,
tries to keep
a clean house,
caters to others,
lends an ear,
has squeezed
every drop of self
into a low flying life

needs to land
a space of her own,
with room to breathe;
take life in shorter
intervals, refill
her jets.

(Portrait of a Waitress was originally written in 2016. Image a self portrait. Note: once upon a time, I was a waitress, whom the cooks referred to as “Jumbo Jet”. I waitressed my way through university, and a few rough spots in life. While I gave up the job, the metaphor of ‘waiting’ continued to be a theme in my dreams for many years after.)

Mediation

“Just like your father!”
Words that chill me
to my core, bile
and self-loathing
follow

I abhor ego –
its need
its pandering
its petulance

Would skin
and exile
the beast
but, alas

Self absent
interface
cannot deal with
what remains

So I wrestle
with the father bits
and bolster the tried –
ego negotiation

(Image my own)

(Water: Haiku and Free Verse)

Even the river bleeds
fiery frigid essence
Earth’s watery voice.

**

It is the river
that calls, waters
flowing through my veins

and I, the banks
steadfast and holding

the razor sharp edges
like liquid steel
erode my earthen postures

challenging…
blessedly challenging…
the hardened places.

(Water: Haiku and Free Verse first appeared here in June of 2018. It is has been edited for this version. Image my own.)

That’s What I Fear

“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretence and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.”
– Maya Angelo

I fear living.

No, that’s not it.

I love living…
…but I fear engagement…
…drowning in engagement

Except, I love engagement…
… but only when I dip my toe in the waters
and feel the thrill…
and can still maintain control.

I fear losing control. I fear no longer being able to call the shots, life demanding more of me than I’m willing (or able) to give.

I’m willing to give…
… to a certain point…
…can no longer afford to be sapped dry, wrung out
and discarded… so much hurt
so much betrayal…
such lack of appreciation

I have given.
I have loved and sacrificed and cherished and
given…
…up…
…self

It’s self I’m afraid of losing
and why not?
I am only just able to touch her

She and I, still hesitant
building a certainty
a mutual admiration
respect…

And should I be called upon
to give…too much…well…

I could lose her again.

This is what I fear.

(Two separate blog posts hit me this week. The first offering the Angelo quotation (sorry, I can’t remember the blog’s name) and the second from my friend Dr Andrea Dinardo, who offers the question: What’s Under the Fear? Dr D offers a five step process for self-discovery. This is my response. Image my own. The poem also fits with my weekly challenge theme: except)