Life

Do You at Least Know I Love You?

Sometimes even diamonds crack
she’d say with a nervous laugh and pain in her eyes.

I’m not sure she remembers,
what he said or
if I’ve made her proud.

Glass of time draining memories,
the only treasures she can’t bequeath.

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Other People’s Secrets

I live beneath scorn filled shadows of other people’s secrets

Carrying a burden

Internalized shame and affliction

Penetrate my veneered complexion

Iron weight grating my psyche

Stilted dreams invade rare, disturbed sleep

My own turmoil and failures, other people’s secrets.

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Timepiece

Several years ago for Christmas, my husband bought me a beautiful silver tone watch with a black leather band; he chose this watch for its elegance and its size.  The face is small and the strap delicate, soft and pliable the perfect fit for my slight wrists.

The first time I wore my watch it broke.  I wore it maybe a few hours at most.  The frame surrounding the date located near the VI fell off and lodged itself underneath the minute hand.  It took me ages to send it out to be repaired.

Running out the door the other day, later than I should as is often the case; I grabbed my watch and stuffed it into the back of the diaper bag.  Once the kids were strapped in, I started the car and affixed my timepiece to my wrist.  It wasn’t until I was standing in the store that I noticed my watch had stopped.  A dead battery I mused?  Then I noticed the date, 14…it was no longer the 14th.  After further examination, I realized the frame was once again dislodged and stuck underneath the minute hand, rendering it forever 6:08 on the 14th.  At first I thought it befitting I should have a broken watch.  I’m seldom prompt.  I am either very early or a few minutes late.  Try as I might to plan and prepare for inevitable distractions and delays.

Staring at my broken watch, cursing its fault I notice just how quickly the days have elapsed.  They’ve escaped me, without my realizing.  My watch is trying to grant me the extra time I am always pleading for.  There is never enough time to finish everything; every time I turn around another day has passed, another month, another year, a tumult of events leaving me wondering how so much has changed, how the kids have gotten so big, why so much hasn’t changed.

It seems impossible my son is nearly a year old and my daughter is nearing five.  Time feels like it’s stealing her childhood, that I cannot keep pace.  In my constant rush and distraction she has somehow gone from a baby to a little girl.  I wish I could hold my kids a little longer, make time stop for them, for me I guess.  I wish I could kiss my daughter as a baby again, take that extra time to play with her instead of washing the kitchen floor for the second time.  I realize all of the time I’ve lost rushing around, worrying about inane things or running around to accomplish what felt like a vital task.

I watch my son running now and cannot believe a year ago he was not born.  Yet life beckons, clocks tick, second hands chastise me for not finishing what I have to, for not leaving when I am supposed to.  I can’t seem to slow time down, to slow myself down to stop.  Rote daily routines turn into ridiculous ritual all the while time speeds forward mocking me.

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Precipice of a Decade

Standing on the precipice of a decade overlooking the vast plains of my mind and unexplored surroundings, peering into my future, standing in the past, I feel my insecurities melting, crumbling into bits of rock dust mimicking the dust strewn rock under my boot clad feet.  Disowned and earthbound, my insecurities take flight with each gust of wind and gentle breeze.  They tangle my hair and graze my face but I’ve little attention to spare them.  I find letting go of my strangle hold on reality, of my sterile world of instant pocket-sized hand sanitizer, abruptly simpler, more desirable.  I accept life’s complexity and scorn inertia, awakening.  I see my children’s eyes filled with the promise of the world.  I understand.

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Broken Glass

This morning bleary eyed and exhausted, I lurched the refrigerator door open to grab  milk for my coffee sending the long-stemmed wine glass I had set atop the night before, sailing to the floor.  The glass shattered, almost exploded, into hundreds or thousands of various sized shards and fragments, luminaries, littering my kitchen floor; reminders of my exhausted carelessness.  Even wearing flip-flops, I managed to get a small fragment embedded in the bottom of my left foot.

I directed my daughter who up until this moment was content with watching television on the living room couch, not to enter the kitchen while my suddenly awake senses surveyed my small, early morning disaster.  I scurried about with broom and dustpan, pausing only to extract the small glass shard from the bottom of my foot, praying my son, now relegated to his playpen, would stop screaming; a screaming child is not what my landlady prefers to listen to at 6:30am.

Even after I finished running damp paper towels across the floor to catch any glass that may have escaped my attention or that of the broom, I was dissatisfied, and unconvinced I had removed every fragment from the semi smooth old linoleum tile. I felt inept at cleaning; inept at providing a safe surface on which my children could walk and play without the fear of glass piercing their delicate skin; inept.

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Cheerios and Bacon

“What would you like for breakfast tomorrow?” I ask my four-and-a-half year old daughter.  Her breakfast choices tend to range within the standards, with cold cereal or pancakes (made from scratch not my forte) being top rated followed by bananas with yogurt or cereal, peanut butter and jelly, french toast and the occasional request for “super-deluxe cheesy eggs.”  Every so often I will receive a request for something the likes of grilled cheese or chicken noodle soup, whatever satisfies her.  I’ve learned to abandon my surprise daily hot breakfasts, including smiley face french toast with fruit and almonds; my efforts are still appreciated but only upon her request.

A decisive “Cheerios and bacon” is her reply.

Ah the steadfast bacon.  The single food my daughter would consume at every meal on a daily basis if we’d only let her.  A dietary staple in her mind.  Who can forget her “I need six pieces of bacon, not two” comment.  Or of course the ever famous “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I inquired many months ago.

“A pig farmer.  I’m going to make my own bacon!”  Ah the simplistic innocence yet infallible logic of youth.

For my daughter, Cheerios and bacon is completely rational.  It’s what she wants; it tastes good and it makes her happy.  She isn’t yet affected and burdened by the societal constraints of traditional  breakfast menu social norms.  She is free and has instinctively and decisively chosen her morning fuel.

Tomorrow I will get up before her to make the bacon.  She will undoubtedly pour her own cereal and milk (after dragging her chair across the kitchen to reach a bowl).  A glass of orange juice, which she always mixes with water as of late, and we will call it a well-balanced start to what I can only hope is a well-balanced day.  I can only imagine what she’ll want for snack after school…

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Work in Progress “Trash- A Dream”

This morning I dreamt I awoke from my nap to find someone had strewn our garbage across the front lawn placing it on display for the entire neighborhood.  I felt it made the house look tasteless and unkempt.  It was not until later that I realized these bits of garbage lying open and unprotected on the sodden earth amongst throngs of decaying sienna maple leaves were actually bits of my life.  Although it is February the climate was that of fall, chilly, damp and windy.  With each step I took, the ground released its water-logged grass and mud tying my trash to the land.

Forgetting the chilled air, and in nothing but a t-shirt and jeans, I frantically began piercing and collecting each immobile, rotten piece of  yesterday returning it to its rightful place in a thick, black trash bag.

My sisters called out from the front door to persuade me to put on a coat and forget the mess.  Returning these sodden, decaying memories to their rightful place was of utmost importance.  I hurried up the front path and ripped the coat from my sister’s hand.  “Watch the baby” I instructed as I returned to my task.

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