Same life, different day?

Photo by Anandan Anandan on Unsplash

 

IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING, some days are harder than others. Even some of the days on the road to recovering from being a Trauma Mama are harder, but the overall trajectory is better.

As a small child I didn’t know how to cope with the chaos of my home. I worked out my own coping strategies on an instinctual level for safety. That mostly involved hiding from what terrified me. Since that was pretty much everything and everyone, you can imagine the job of remaining hidden and invisible and only popping my head out when I had a smile on my face took up most of my time and energy.

I’m beginning to see how one part of my coping was to deal with one day only. Get through that one day by keeping myself safe. I didn’t look into the future with a sense of hope. As far as I was concerned, the future looked like “same life, different day.” Keep under the radar at home, in school, at church. Be unseen and unheard if you disagreed with others. Only be seen in small moments of lightness.

This is a tricky way to live.

I carried it on into my marriage. Try, try, try harder to make no waves. Try, try, try harder to soothe difficulties rather than solve them. Try, try, try harder to only be seen in small moments of lightness–moments that became much less frequent in time.

I’m five years out now from my marriage. Five years of ever so slowly thawing from the freeze of being my Trauma Mama self, of holding my body so tightly, fighting my emotions so fiercely that my body said “Enough! I now give you the magical gift of Fibromyalgia!” If that doesn’t teach you to slow your roll, nothing will.

Part of the thaw means I’m feeling a broader range of emotion, I’m seeing a broader range of possibilities. I’m even starting to see, waaaay out there in the distance, what is that thing? Wait–I’ve heard of those……the glimmer of A Future!

That processing led to today’s poem for the Poetic Asides Wednesday Prompt of SET:

 

Same.

 

I thought of my life

as a set recipe–

minor changes,

a variation

with

an added herb,

a trace of spice

but still

essentially

the same.

 

I thought of my life

as a slow leak,

a faucet dripping

Same sink,

same dribble,

same

leak,

new day.

 

I thought of my life

as a set of books,

new character

here,

lose one

there,

subtle nuance,

but still

essentially

the same.

 

I thought of my life

without a dream.

Imagine my surprise–

I’m not a book

or a recipe.

I’m not a faucet

to be fixed.

I am me

expanding.

 

I am not set.

 

jle2018

I'm even starting to see, waaaay out there in the distance, what is that thing? Wait--I've heard of those……the glimmer of A Future! Click To Tweet

Poeming: A Lesser Gumshoe

For yesterday’s prompt over at Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides, we were asked to write a poem that uses at least 3 of the following 6 words: con, flush, oxymoron, pass, rub, toxic. 

I plead 3 weeks of a nasty cold with a dash of insanity as to how this amalgamation of characters  emerged from my brain. I had such fun with it–think of me what you will, but remember, all parties are considered innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law….including the author….

 

A Lesser Gumshoe

“I would pass this time ‘round,”
she said, flicking the ash,
elbow on table, cigarette in
the air like
a torch lighting the night,
“on those last ten years.
A hard pass on those freakin’
ten years.”
“Why?” I asked, waving my
hand in my face,
waving the smoke from
my face like a stiff
wind off the coast.
“Hmph!” she snorted,
rolling her eyes, taking
a long, deep drag,
“Toxic ten years, bein’
treated like crap,
that was the
rub of those years.
If I could
have those years back
of my life, wonder what
I coulda done…
wonder what I coulda done…”
She paused, staring off
into space, her eyes
glittering like the
knock-off tennis
bracelet around her wrist,
“Oh well,” she said,
glancing my way,
blowing smoke,
me turning my face,
my eyes watering
like the fake stone
fountain in the corner
of the bar,
“Instead I ran a con on myself,
yes I did, thinking I could
change the ol’ bastard….
Hah!” burst her staccato
laugh out into the room,
stabbing the night
just like she’d stabbed him,
“mighta just as well
flushed those last years—
and these’ll never
be as high as they were
ten years ago,”
she said, grimacing and
cupping one breast.
Grinding her cigarette butt
into the ashtray shaped
like the state of Montana,
she flung out one last line
as the cop approached,
“Him and change—
what an oxymoron…”

I sneezed.

jle2018

Poeming: Dollhouses

Photo by XINYI SONG on Unsplash

The prompt at Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides today is to use a child’s toy as the title and go from there. Here’s one of mine.

Dollhouses

Carefully she laid

the handkerchief

embroidered with

purple violets

over the tiny

jewelry box

her eyes seeing

a rich sofa

for her dark-haired

Margot doll

underneath the chair,

a living room

for dolls to feel

safe in.

+

Carefully she placed

the pillow

covered in floral

fabric

in the corner of

the couch

then stepped back

to view it

Pretty places

pretty spaces,

playing house

had always made

her feel

safe.

 

jle 2018

Poeming: Anti-Transient

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Today’s prompt over at Robert Lee Brewer’s Poem A Day Challenge is to write an Anti-(blank) poem. Sometimes I like to have fun with parentheses, like today. I judge this poem a bit sappy, but I like it anyway.

 

Anti-Transient

Sprinkle my ash in the wind
(where no pain)
let me float free like a leaf
(touches me)
watch with a smile on your lips
(when I’m gone)
know that I’m finally free

Sprinkle my ash to the waves
(I have loved)
mingling with sand and with stone
(you beyond)
sing with the tune of the sea
(total love)
carry my heart-song in yours

Sprinkle my ash to the trees
(where no pain)
birdsong and light through the leaves
(touches me)
made my heart full now they’re yours
(when I’m gone)
remember me in these things

Sprinkle my ash on the ground
(I have danced)
in the sunlight and in rain
(in bare feet)
turn your face up and embrace
(with pure joy)
all that this life has to give

Sprinkle my ash in the wind
(where no pain)
let me float free like a leaf
(touches me)
watch with a smile on your lips
(when I’m gone)
know that you’re carrying me

 

jle2018

Poeming: Christmas

The prompt today at Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides blog was Teenager. This is one of the poems I wrote.

Christmas.

 

No one was celebrating

at my house

No garland,

no tree

no music.

But I, determined,

walked to the

grocery store

parking lot,

bought a

bedraggled

remaining

tree,

carried it home

alone

Set it up with

lights and ornaments

unwilling to allow

the darkness there

to

claim my

fifteen-year-old

Christmas.

jle2018

Poeming: Tired of Hiding

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash Tired of Hiding She had always hid from painful mem’ries haunting her todays and she had run a million miles inside her head to keep away the awful looming pall of voices shouting on the other side of walls within the confines of a home that felt un safe […]

Poeming: Just Words.

 

JUST WORDS.

Mama, Mama, write me,
write me
about how you wanted me,
Mama, Mama, five small words–
that I was your best idea.
Mama, Mama, I waited,
waited,
forever to hear some words
to heal the mama hole
in me,
a void in this little girl.
When you died, you wrote me,
wrote me
words of rebuke and pain,
sent in the mail by a
lawyer man,
more reproach and shame.
Mama, Mama, look down,
look down,
I’m doing the best I can
to be my own mama and
love myself
and fill the space
you left.

 

jle