Voluntary Purgatory

grave, purgatory
 

We wait:

staring at laminated infographics plastered around the doctor’s offices;

staring at our phones, holding our breath and hoping to receive a text.

We wait:

rereading the inspirational poster stuck to the ceiling, hoping the dentist’s drilling will end soon;

counting down the days to the next holiday, the next vacation, the next party.

We wait

for that person we like to say something first.

We wait

til the alcohol kicks in before we admit to our feelings.

We wait

until they’re gone to tell them how we feel.

Better to wait for the right time,

wouldn’t want to look stupid.

Three Places

St. Louis, places, location

Bustle of the District

where people rush around in suits.

So much to do, work hard, play hard, focus and accomplish a lot.

 

Calm Kentucky

with rolling hills

and space to hear yourself think.

Where the focus is family

and marriage

and hospitality.

 

St. Louis, the island, the small town city mutation.

Comfortable, but not safe downtown.

Diverse, but not progressive.

 

The distance is difficult.

Far from family and friends.

An adjustment.

But it’s freedom.

Freedom from memories that hold like quicksand.

Freedom from that box of other peoples’ expectations.

A new perspective, a chance to find me outside of them.

Losing Reality

Staring at the mirror and knowing

that she could

so easily

slip.

She likes the letting go

and the bravery

and the party.

She likes people wanting her

(who doesn’t)

but she likes the jolt before

the touching hands

and the way the girls

just grab hers,

rest their heads like it’s nothing.

Flirt like it’s nothing.

Kiss like it’s nothing.

And maybe it is.

Can’t it just be playing?

 

She feels the pull,

the dangerous addiction to excitement and numbness and nothing.

Things We Hide

hide, secret

“I am a      .”

“I am a witch.”

She wrote

over and over

as if she would

forget.

 

These words were          .

DANGER

She could be persecuted,

be treated differently.

 

The words stood

dark blue

against the smooth, white background.

The paper was flimsy,

could disintegrate in the rain.

She was tired of hiding,

pretending to be

something else.

 

Pretending is easy when

people would never assume.

But she tired of holding

back words,

of censoring

herself.

Her Happy Poem

notebook, poem, poetry

She wants to write a happy poem about love

and success and hope.

She wants to write about moving

and her world changing.

She’s stronger now,

more herself,

even though she’s terrified and misses home.

 

Writing it is difficult.

The words fly, then dip

down under the water

where she can’t breathe.

Because getting here means

losing there.

 

This poem is happy.

In the end, she is happy.

She had to do this happy.

_____________________

Like this poem? Share and read on: http://www.wedbushwrite.com/price-happy/

Red as Blood

grave, death

Silk fabric of the deepest red

swaths the baby,

the symbol of a stillborn.

Baby is placed into the casket

with care.

The top closes.

Into the ground

goes Baby.

 

Rock-a-bye baby

all the way

down.

 

Mother, almost Mother,

leaves the baby room untouched.

The pale yellow walls mock her.

Baby shower gifts gather dust

in the closet.

 

Try again? Again?

_____________________

Like this poem? Share it and read on: http://www.wedbushwrite.com/grief-for-the-living/

Flying Away

hummingbird, past, fly

When you stand alone

and understand that you can be on your own,

when you transform

from the kid

to the protector,

when you find

your voice,

that is when you fly.

 

We begin as the kid

nursing the bird back to health

and letting go of it,

of our past.

But what we didn’t know

was that we become the bird.

And we have to leave that kid.

_______________________________________

Like this poem? Read on: http://www.wedbushwrite.com/new-time-same-place/

Can’t Accept

lost time

The memories hurt my stomach.

The future is fear.

The past is pain.

The present slowly ticks away

as I fight between the two realities:

walk away and forward

or stay and let it consume me.

 

The past is safe.

Will I ever relax again

if I leave?

Will I ever be calm?

How can I be?

 

I can’t pretend that nothing’s

changed.

We’re not the same people

despite how badly I want everything

to be frozen in time.

I’m living a dream, a memory.

 

I’m afraid to be put under

anesthesia.

There’s that small panic

that I might never wake up.

 

We know the ending of our stories.

But we panic, refuse to accept.

The same way I refuse to accept

that the people from my memories

have changed.

Going Out

make up

Eyeshadow, concealer, lipstick, highlighter, blush,

going out shoes,

cute outfit,

all checked off the list.

She draws his eye.

She ignores him,

dances like he’s not watching.

She reels him in without trying;

she doesn’t want him.

She wants the attention.  She wants to turn him down. She wants to be wanted.

Her eyes linger on a girl by the bar.

No one notices.

___________________________________________

Like this poem? Comment and read more: http://www.wedbushwrite.com/when-truth-has-steep-price/

Relief

Tree tops sway,

leaves darkening to a shamrock color.

That’s when you notice the grey sky

and the cool undercurrent in the wind.

Listen to the familiar creaking sound

of the branches and bark rubbing together.

That’s when the leaves flip,

white side up.

The air’s almost electric,

the humidity heavy with coming rain.

You wait,

on edge

until the drops fall,

heavy and fat and

pouring.

________________________________________________________________________________

Liked that poem? Comment and read on: http://www.wedbushwrite.com/solomn-summers/