No two are alike.
Snowflakes. They say.
That’s one of the truths no one disputes.
There comes a time when it is easier
to swallow a truth whole than to bite into an argument.
No two are alike. Arguments.
Sometimes they end in silence. Sometimes in an avalanche of
Words that once said cannot be unsaid.
There comes a time when it is impossible to make
peace one more
Better to leave the battle lines in place.
And feelings frozen.
After hearing I am Metis by Deb Vos
I am simple
I am not complicated
I am not educated
I am not learned, but I am
I am like my mother
I am like the family I ran from but never escaped.
I am hiding. I am hiding.
I am hiding the truth.
I am hiding the truth about myself.
I am isolated. I am isolating. I am isolated by my shame – and more
I am aging.
I have a younger woman in this body. This body.
This body with the bad knee and the gray roots
The failing vision. The short term memory loss. The high cholesterol.
The depression. The depression.
The depression that I cured with pharmaceuticals
Proving that the cure can be worse than what ailed us.
I am cured. I am cured. I am cured.
I don’t cry. I don’t cry.
I don’t cry at sad movies, sad poems, sad songs.
I don’t cry at parades anymore and I always cried at parades.
My emotions are memories
The scent of musterole
The taste of molasses.
Once, blinded by a twinkling night on Carolina sand
While comets fell and passion rose his seed was darkly sown.
Cunina bore the golden child she wrapped in silk and gingham
And fed her well with fairy tales and nectar from lobelia
But ardor dimmed and pledges died. They were as Hollow Men.
Branded by her secret’s singe and scarred by prickly pears
She hid her marks with crimson scarves
And dwelled in twilight worlds
Where truth was blurred and constant pain was dulled by her surrender
And memories merge with daydreams to weave imperfect cloth.
Her child still wears those twice worn rags
But with the help of Knockers
She mines the veins of twice told lies and layers of subterfuge
To find the truths she will retell to other women’s daughters.
was a minor goddess of infants. She was responsible for guarding the cradle
 The Knockers live beneath the ground where they wear tiny versions of standard miner’s garb and commit random mischief, such as stealing miner’s unattended tools and food.
After reading Homage to Calvin Spotswood by Kate Daniels
Because I couldn’t be the daughter they wanted
The one they should have had
The one that liked the smell of collards cooking,
The sound of billiard balls banging
Because I liked to read, to pray, to ponder
Because I liked to play in my good clothes
Because of was tired of having people drop me off at the corner so they wouldn’t see where I lived
Because I was tired of watching my mama slowly dying over her ironing board
Because my daddy never talked to me
When he almost asked me
I ran away with him.
This week all my posts will be “first drafts” of writings done here at the International Women’s Writing Guild in Saratoga Springs NY. You will be reading them here for the first time and you may read them later when they are polished and revised, but there is something precious about a first draft.
Each year Myra Sharpiro has us do the portrait exercise. We stare at a stranger for thirty minutes without saying a word. Then for ten minutes we can ask that stranger any questions that have occurred to us. We use the responses to write a poem. Yesterday I met Frances for the first time.
She Carried Large
She carries a lifetime in her face
But her hands are smooth and unveined.
She has her mother’s hands.
Impish eyes peek from below a fringe that has changed from platinum to grey .
She carried home a degree from Brooklyn Law
She carried home a husband
She carried his children and she carried large;
When her feet swelled she refused to surrender her Margo Gerald shoes from Sacks.
“I ruined my feet” she said.
She carried a family from Brooklyn to Queens.
She surrendered a career to care for her dying husband but he died straight away.
“He went out like a gentleman” she said.
She carried her grief to Manhattan unveiled.
She carried 15 Buddha’s from China
Only one laughs.
Among wishes, I am your candle.
Among journeys, I am your road map.
Among losses, I am your lesson.
Among anger, I am your fist.
Among heartbreak, I am your clown.
Among deep forests, I am your breadcrumb.
Among the dying, I hold the ashes.
Among the hungry, I hold the bread.
Among Time, I count the minutes.
Among danger, I am your comfort.
Among delight, I am your mirror.
Among cold nights, I am your blanket.
Among women, I am your wife.