Fun House Mirror

Anxiety changes our perception of the world. It twists everything into the worse case scenario, and we can’t control it. “Fun House Mirror” is a poem that reflects this feeling.


Fun House Mirror

The scale reads the same as always.

The mirror reflects your lies,

a ballooning stomach,

fat, fat thighs.

Are your jeans tight?

They feel tight.

Tighter than your dress pants.

You clearly gained weight.

You eat less.

Run more.

You still eat.

You’re fine.

Write and rewrite the email.

Don’t look stupid.

Don’t mess up.

You always mess up.

Try harder.

You’re dying.

But you’re not dying.

But you can’t breathe.

And you’re shaking.

Are you convulsing?

Is this a stroke? Heartattack? Shock?

Realize you’re really not dying.

Repeat.

***

Like this poem? Share it on Facebook and Twitter, or Read more here: http://www.wedbushwrite.com/waves-of-anxiety/

Want more poems sent straight to your inbox? Sign up here: https://mailchi.mp/c70f71aaffb8/wedbushwrite

In the Final Hour

Purple tinge colors the winter sky

As the sun descends

And the day ends.

 

Barren branches create

Patterns above my head.

They creak in the bitter wind.

Quiet screams.

 

Isolation and cold surround me,

But I’m not lonely

and I’m not scared.

 

We anticipate.

We dread.

We avoid.

But it comes in the end.

Time is relentless.

***

Like this poem? Read more like it: http://www.wedbushwrite.com/red-as-blood/a

Clarity

 

Pen in hand

happiness dampens,

dissolving in rain

 

Pen in hand

the razor blade raises

to the skin again

 

Pen in hand

dig in, pour out over

and over until

 

Pen in hand

blood soaks the page and

 

you breathe.

Monster’s Lullaby

Let the Jack O’Lanterns

light the way

as you skip past me

on Hallows Eve.

I lurk in shadows

underneath the porch

or bridge

or bed.

As your bag of candy rustles,

as you trade your favorite sweets,

remember me

or don’t forget

as I sneak into your

closet.

 

After a long night of trick-or-treating

you’re safe inside your bed.

With visions of chocolate and gummies

dancing in your head.

And as you fall asleep,

safe from witch or ghoul or ghost

the monster with you in the darkness

is the one you fear the most.

 

***

Like this poem? Read more like it here. Or sign up for the monthly newsletter to receive short stories, poems, and more directly in your inbox.

Flying

Little Mandy dragged her parents’ plastic purple broom out of the garage.

Today was the day

she was going to fly.

She tucked a still sticky bubbles container

full of flight potion up her jacket sleeve.

She poured the potion,

dissolved bath salts and grass,

over the broom,

bristles to handle.

Crisp autumn leaves

blew down the street

as she mounted the broom.

She just had to believe and try hard enough.

No neighbors were out to witness it,

but after a few minutes of rocking onto her tip toes

and jumping around,

she could swear she actually hovered a minute.

 

Teenage Mandy loved Halloween.

She went as a witch every year,

but this year she wanted to be pretty.

She wanted to be a fairy.

She bought sparkly make-up,

blue wings,

and a short, sequined gown.

Of course, her costume wasn’t complete without a bag of pixie dust.

She sprinkled some over her blonde hair before her party,

and though it was silly, part of her believed that it would make her fly.

Enough of her believed.

At the stroke of midnight, he kissed her

and damn if her heart didn’t soar.

 

Adult Mandy bought candy.

She’d just moved out

and saved up to splurge on decorations for her favorite holiday.

After setting everything up, she laid down on her living room rug,

an ornately designed blue and gold one that she loved.

Though she didn’t think she’d be flying over the New York skyline on it,

she believed it would take her places,

that it would help her fly,

that it would make anywhere home.

And despite her fear,

she knew that she was doing the right thing.

***

Like this poem? Read more like it: http://www.wedbushwrite.com/flying-away/

Remnants

Image courtesy of Pixabay on Pexels.

White tufts of dog hair litter the house,

from the crack between the couch cushions

to the steps

to the bedroom carpet.

These are the remnants of husky coat-blowing season.

 

The howling, high-pitched neediness of a two-year-old

dog, of course,

as she throws a tantrum

reverberates off the cheap drywall.

 

She sticks her head between the living room curtains when I come home.

And keeps looking after I pet her.

First thing when she wakes up,

she checks the empty bed.

She stops for every car that drives by,

waiting anxiously to see you again.

 

I have my own rituals.

Delete your number in the morning.

Add it again after dinner.

Drink.

Delete it again.

Take the whole bed for myself.

Wake up anxious in the middle of the night.

Consider texting you.

Fall asleep again.

Repeat.

 

When the dog isn’t crying,

chatter from the TV fills the silence.

The quiet at night fills my ears until all I hear is my heartbeat.

 

Your stuff hides in the house,

from the sock under the coffee table

to the old razor in the bathroom

to the ripped space poster hanging in your empty office.

These are the remnants of our life.

Lonely Ballerina

ballerina, ballet, lonely, dance
Photo by Ricardo Moura from Pexels.

 

Ballerina’s dance across the wallpaper that lines

Eleanor’s bedroom.

Every time she begins to close her eyes,

they move.

A pirouette,

a grande jeté,

a pas de bourree

around a stone fountain,

beneath the stars.

The dancers turn

and leap,

smiling and laughing.

Eleanor stumbles out of bed

and assumes first position.

The dancers don’t look.

She spins three times,

pushing for a fourth.

They don’t notice her stopping short.

“Hey!” She waves at them, waiting for them to watch.

But they laugh louder,

look only at each other,

and vanish.

****************************************************

Like this poem? Read more like it: http://www.wedbushwrite.com/carnival-dance/

Northern Night

north, night, imagination, aurora
Image via Pixabay from Pexels

The quiet of night settles over her bedroom

as the cricket choir chirps.

The warm comforter tangles

around her feet.

As her eyes close,

green and blue lights dance in the corner of her room.

Could it be the glow from her TV

as the credits role?

No, it’s something more

reflected in her mirror.

 

In the reflection, her tall wooden desk has transformed

into a log cabin

with soft, inviting light shining through the windows.

Her white iron bed frame

is now a sled.

And her tan carpet has turned into snow.

She kicks off the covers

and now she’s skating

across a frozen lake

beneath a sky of stars and the Aurora.

 

The air is cool, but not too cold.

Light from the sky fends off the dark.

Being alone does not scare her.

And when she returns to her bed and her room and her life,

she feels safe.

Pretending was easy then.

Lost Again

lost
Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

Your path diverts in four different directions:

the sunny route by the ocean,

the one shrouded by dark forest,

the dirt trail over a hill,

or the one through the meadow.

You can’t see the end of any of them.

You know what you want.

You’ve read the map,

the paths that others have taken.

But these trails aren’t familiar.

 

So you start down one,

then double back.

Half way through the woods you wonder,

is this what I want?

What’s important?

Was I wrong before?

Is this the right way?

 

Voices jeer at you.

They give advice, all conflicting.

You’ve gained some ground

in the wrong direction.

So you give up everything,

swallow your pride,

ignore the voices,

and find yourself again.

***

Like this poem? Share and read more like it: http://www.wedbushwrite.com/she-can/

Impulsive

Image via Breakingpic from Pexels

 

Detached words sound sweet,

inspire creativity,

Make you leap off the edge.

No parachute.

No plan.

 

Time traps you,

unable to skip the hard stuff.

There are options, escape plans.

Rum, vodka, pills,

but numb isn’t happy.

 

Let go let go let go let go.

Forgive your mistakes.

Forget the confused judgement in their eyes.

 

Eat too much.

Sleep too much.

Stress too much.

 

Know that you can’t go back.

Too late.

Too bad.