Some poetry. Some prose. All heart.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Don't Be Them


The world is full of people eager to say:
"Give up."
"Quit now."
"You're not good enough."

Don't be one of those people.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Footprints



As you worry
About your classmates transforming,
Becoming smarter, stronger or faster than you,
Maybe even better than you...

As you fret
About your clothes making you look chubby
Because you still have some baby fat,
And the mean kids at school make fun of it...

As you wonder
If you're good enough to start the next game,
Or skilled enough to make the team next year,
Or smart enough for the science program...

As you agonize
Over a project that was harder than expected,
Or homework that kept you up past midnight,
Or a bad grade on a tough test...

As you watch
Your childhood friend abandon you,
Too afraid to stand at your side
When you go up against a bully...

Know this...

I cry inside when your tears flow.
I feel your failures as if they were my own.
I clench my fist with each injustice.
My heart breaks with yours.

I will
Always hide it from you,
Because you don't need me to fret.
You don't need to worry about me.

I will
Encourage you to climb with all your might,
To learn from your falls and your failures,
To never give up on your dreams.

I will
Warn you about friends caught in the tornado,
Being pulled in all directions, out of their control.
Patience, the storm will reveal your true friends.

I will
Make you realize you're a lion in this jungle.
Bullies and fake friends are weak sheep,
And lions never worry about sheep.

And if none of that works...

I will always listen.
I will always be here.
I will always love you.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Time Froze


We met for coffee that normal Fall afternoon.
An odd and unusual event
Of which we thought nothing peculiar at the time.

We laughed about silly things,
Talked about how good things were going,
And then departed to our normal Fall evenings.

There were no arguments.
No rancor. No angst.
Just laughter and smiles.

That evening, when the call came,
Lightning struck our core.
Time froze.

Our family broke.
We all crumbled.
Our hearts were left in ruins.

But day by day, week by week,
We put the shattered pieces back together,
One tiny fragment at a time.

Some pieces are lost forever,
Like your laughter and your smile.
Your pieces.

Now, a year has passed,
Since that day we had coffee,
The day lightning struck.

We commemorate this day
As the day our family, our world,
Lost a lot of its sunshine.

And as time continues to pass,
I hope, eventually, to forget this day,
To forget why it's commemorated.

I want to forget it's sadness and pain
And replace it with
Happier memories of you.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Raindrops


The sounds of droplets against the window
Call distant memories to mind.

I'm thirty-six, staring past the window sill,
Drinking a glass of red wine.

I'm twenty-eight, working late,
Struggling against a deadline.

I'm twenty-one, kissing my boyfriend,
Our bodies intertwined.

I'm fifteen, writing in my journal,
Questioning mankind.

I'm eleven, drawing silly pictures,
Without direction or design.

I'm seven, staring out towards the sky,
My imagination unconfined.

The sound of raindrops brings back simpler moments
That real life leaves behind.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Sisterhood


Blood is thick,
But love is thicker,
And often that love comes from a friend.

Family is given,
But friends are chosen,
And the best ones never have to act or pretend.

Maybe you have that love
From your family,
And if so, you have luck many of us can't comprehend.

But I don't lose hope,
Because at my side
Is the love and compassion of my friend.

Our meetings are rare,
But when we get together
We talk about everything and laugh to no end.

We're so close
That we're mistaken for sisters!
It's a compliment we never contend.

We might not share blood,
But we have true friendship,
And it's made me come to understand

That sometimes blood ties
Just can't compare
To the sisterhood I have with my dear friend.

......................

* Dedicated to my girls. You know who you are.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Long Forgotten


Long forgotten are the days when...

Tickling was the best thing ever,
And laughing made you spit up your food,
And pillow fights were eminent before bedtime,
And puppies and kittens ruled the world,
And Mom and Dad were the strongest of superheroes,
And your little brother was your partner in crime,
And dolls and make-believe were the craze,
And you sang at the top of your lungs without a care in the world,
And danced wildly without coordination,
And played instruments without a tune,
And you lifted your head upwards to look at me,
And my hug was the only one that could comfort you,
And my kisses were like gold,
And I held your hand to cross the street,
And I bandaged up your scraped knees,
And you wanted to be a movie star or chef or dancer or lawyer or pianist...
And rainbow colored socks were vital,
And so were pink and purple winter hats,
And playing zombie makeup was Dad's thing,
And softball and sports was mine,
And we all played board games together at night,
And we would go on long walks to get ice cream,
And...

I haven't forgotten a single day.


Thursday, July 4, 2019

Alone


Your smile hides what is aching inside of you, but you can't hide it from me. Your generosity, your forgiving nature, your acts of kindness hide the gaping hole left in your heart. Even if those suffering around you don't notice your suffering -- because you tend to them, console them, help them with their grieving -- I notice your pain. I see your grief, your anguish, and how you smile to hold it all in, to protect us from it, to keep your heart from imploding.

Your laughter shines brightly, until a melody of your youth plays on the radio and your mind drifts off onto uncontrollable waves of melancholy. You recall silly childhood moments, planned schemes against your parents, and fights that led to broken furniture, spilled food, and being grounded for a month. He was the only person who accepted you as you were, your imperfections, your ugliness, your rawness -- without question -- and he is gone. He was your witness, your defense, your alibi in all your childhood claims. You have no one to reference now, only your own memory, which will slowly, eventually, abandon you too, leaving you alone with doubt at your side.

Your breath shakes whenever you speak of him, and the glimmer in your eyes dull just enough that I notice. Your stomach sinks when you realize that it's not your morbid imagination concocting these facts -- it's all too real. He is gone from this world, and you will never be able to hear his infectious laughter, or hear his Army war stories, or argue about who was the favorite child. Your eyes turn to the side and you stare off into the distance, and you wonder what could have been -- what should have been -- reiterating questions that do nothing more but reopen deep scars on your heart.

But I see you. I see your pain, even when no one else does.

You are not alone.

I am with you.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Anger

Anger,
If you allow it,
Will cloud your attitude,
Block out the sunshine in your day
And the moonlight in your night.

Anger,
If you permit it,
Will ruin your friendships,
Break apart family ties,
And push you to a dark and desolate place.

Anger,
If you give it access,
Will feed upon your frustrations,
Devour what little happiness you have left,
And leave you depressed and alone.

Anger,
If you try,
Can be overcome.
Be thankful for the sun, the moon, friends, family, life,
Accept them as they are,
And your anger will die.

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Lone Journey

I walk alone
Down this desolate road
In the middle of a lightning storm.

You call out my name,
Playfully, with a chuckle,
Telling me to run, to have fun, to play.

But thunder roars, muffling your voice,
And a streak across the sky
Shines upon the long, empty road ahead.

The black pavement stretches for miles
Until it shrinks into nothingness,
Disappearing into the horizon.

When the thunder fades
I hear your infectious giggle,
And you ask me why I don't laugh anymore.

You tell me a joke that only we know.
I smile for a moment, and the clouds part,
Granting me respite with the moon's warm glow.

I see twinkling stars.
I hear silence.
I feel peace.

...

Sharp winds creep in, scraping my cheeks.
Thunder rolls once more.
Thick, black clouds swallow up the moon and stars.

Lightning bolts streak across the night sky,
Pellets of frozen rain pound the earth.
I crouch low to the ground to protect myself.

The storm hovers so close to my soul -
I close my eyes, cover my ears,
And wait for the end.

...

Then... I hear your voice
Assuring me that the storm will end
And the moon and stars will shine again.

You shout at me in your commanding tone,
To move forward and never stop,
To withstand the storm's fury.

And to laugh, damn it!
For you.
For myself.

...

I stand up and wipe my tears
And look up at the clear blue sky
And smile as if you can still see me.

I hear your infectious laughter once more -
And I chuckle with you
As I continue my journey, alone.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Differences & Similarities

Wherever you are born...
That is not your origin.
We are all from somewhere else.
From a long line of people long gone.

I have yet to meet someone
Who can trace their lineage
To only one country,
One race, or one religion.

But the more we advance in years,
The more we divide
And identify with our differences.
Instead, why not focus on our similarities?

Such as... how we are all from elsewhere,
Of other people of other eras,
Of other parts of the world,
Of other religions.

Mixes between lifestyles, 
Across country borders,
Language barriers,
And conflicting beliefs.

Until we accept our similarities
For what they are,
Universal,
We will always be at war.

And we will miss out on 
Our potential love,
Our pure friendships,
And peace.


Monday, April 8, 2019

Humor in the Annoying

An empty gas tank in the middle of the road;
Slipping on a discarded banana peel;
Locking yourself outside in the pouring rain;
A huge zit you just can't conceal;

Your keys tumbling down the storm drain;
A bug flying up your nose;
A broken high heel shoe at work;
And the pain of stubbed Pinky toes.

Stepping in a fresh pile of dog poo;
Poking yourself in the eye;
Losing a crisp twenty dollar bill;
Dropping a fresh baked apple pie.

So many silly accidents happen everyday;
There's no point in getting annoyed.
Chaos is all around us;
It's not something we can avoid. 

So the next time you trip on nothing at all,
Or get brain freeze from your favorite ice cream,
Remember to laugh at those silly moments -
They're never as bad as they seem.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Glamorless

Often, 
The richest people
Are people who 
Appear to have the least.

No big houses.
No fancy cars.
No large bank accounts.
Yet, they are full of riches.

They value people more than possessions,
Experiences instead of prizes,
Friendships over status or rank,
And giving more than taking.

And very often,
Their lives seem simple,
Less glamorous,
And yet, they're genuinely happy.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Frozen

In the midst of my darkest
Of nightmares,
I’m the last one alive.
I can't speak,
Can't move,
Can't escape what's coming.

My feet are
Cemented to the floor,
A whirlwind of fear
Churns in my stomach,
And my pounding heart
Muffles the noise around me.

My attacker approaches,
With a menacing sickle
In his bony hands,
His black hooded cloak
Flowing in the inferno
Trailing his path.

He strikes,
Swinging down upon me,
Aiming for my chest,
For my soul,
And I can't do anything
But brace for impact
And scream.

I force my eyes open
And sit up in my bed,
With beads of sweat
Trickling down my back,
Gasping for air,
And ever so thankful
To be awake.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Early Morning

Although the wood blinds are down
And block out most of the oncoming sunlight,
The shuffling of little paws,
The melodious chirping outside the window,
And the glow of daytime at the edges of the curtains
Drag me awake.

I step outside my back door
And inhale crisp early morning air,
And stretch my stiff muscles outwards,
And gaze towards the horizon
As the sun makes it's presence known.

I sigh. It's another brand new day.

I blink, and remember all of yesterday's sorrows,
And lament all of my failures,
And ache for everyone I've lost.

I blink again, and I recognize my successes,
And recall the smiles of the people I love,
And of all the love I’ve received;
Things that are so easy to forget.

I walk inside, away from my thoughts,
And plan out today's events,
And take a sip of warm, fresh coffee,
And wallow in the silence of my peaceful home,
Before the kids wake up,
Before the bustle and hustle begins.

Yes! It's another brand new day.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Deadlines

It often seems
I have the most free time
When no one needs me
For anything.

But once I get busy,
Everyone needs me,
And I can't find the time
For anything.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Chasing Echoes

In the late hours of the night,
As I turn off the lights throughout my house
And the whole world sleeps peacefully,
I see your face in my mind,
And I hear you call my name.
When I turn to look for you,
I find no one there.

In the wide open fields of our park,
Where the wind creates green waves
Across rolling hills,
I hear your laughter
And the slush of your footsteps in the grass.
When I spin around against the wind,
I find myself standing alone.

In my dream, we are young,
And Mom tells you to watch over me,
So you take me to the park with your friends
And teach me how to play ball,
Pushing me to be as tough as the boys.
When I wake up, after a sobering breath,
I find myself numb with disbelief.

Even though you're gone,
You're still around
In my thoughts,
In what I see and hear,
Or want to see and hear,
And definitely,
Absolutely,
Forever
In my heart.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Because Of You

There was a time when I'd awaken
Angry at the universe
For the rotten lemons
Sent my way.

There was a time when I'd ignore
Everyone in my life
Who didn't assist in my goals
And only got in the way.

There was a time when I'd only see
The doom in everything,
And miss the brighter side
Hidden away.

Until...

I heard your first cry,
Felt your tiny fingers,
Caressed your flushed cheeks,
And caught your innocent gaze.

Your smile.
Your giggle.
Your scent.
Your existence.

Because of you...

I've learned to make use of life's worst lemons
In a different way,

I've had incredible conversations with strangers
Instead of turning them away,

And...

I refuse to see anything but beams of sunlight
Shining your way.

Because of you,
I'm no longer astray.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Artistic Masterpieces

I watch my young son play with clay.
He kneads the dough with determination,
Pushing and squeezing,
Not knowing exactly what he's working on.

He presses it and tears it apart,
Watching closely, inhaling its scent,
Smiling as he squishes the clay
Into a logical form he sees in his mind.

In the end, he is satisfied with his statue;
Its uneven edges and bumpy shape
Made up of carefully selected
Rainbow colors.

He places it on his shelf
Next to his other masterpieces
Of unidentifiable objects,
And picks up another fresh piece of clay.