between believe and break

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in the days between believe and break
the sun rose dark and painted shadows
trees bowed and let go of all they held
bare fingers pointing any and no way
and all that was once held together by time
let fly the wind and broke into pieces
of nothing sinking deeper in the deep within
and cracks spilled hope in freezing drops
bottom chased chained below motionless
curtains drawn, she never left her bed.

empty spaces

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long ago he had gone
to the silence, though
she held time as if was
the hands that once
caressed her cheek
before the decay of days
the way his eyes never
fell upon her anymore
their journey away
had begun before the trees
wept and footsteps grew
farther in colder days
the surrender of years
until nothing remained
but the window watching
empty spaces

where is he now? (for Anthony)

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where is he now
the gardener of souls?
his “good morning” silent,
cardinals wonder why
sun, looking for a reason
summer holding on,
flowers broken without his songs
the gardener of souls
where is he now?

 

(shadow me)

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torrent churns

(through) green, blue,

lashing upon itself,

reflecting (me) invisible

flow stop crash turn twist

journey  ~ day and night,

(lost) shadows, white water

secrets, sun (behind), and

(always) the pull of the

(drowning) water. (shadow

me) 

Two Times across the Tappan Zee Bridge

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The first time was at dusk.  The Hudson River stretched

like an invitation in the gentlest glow, both banks’

forest green arms holding me, as I rose with the bridge.

And at the top, nightfall’s vision sang, and I held,

floated there, watching the city catch the river.

Her skyscrapers gathered and huddled and whispered

of the night to come, and began to switch on spots

of bright into the fading light.  And beside, tiny, immense

Liberty stood, knowing the city and flowing the river,

and lifted us all across the bridge.

 

When I returned, it was morning.  The light was harsher,

less forgiving.  The climb to the top of the bridge seemed

steeper, somehow, for us all.  And I saw signs, along

the railings, read them.  “Don’t give up. There is hope.

Call the hotline.”  Street signs. Bridge signs. Signs.

At the top: “Do not jump.”  On this, the North side, only

the river, the fall.  And the ghosts that had put all the signs

on the bridge.  I could still see them jumping.  And my car

would not float but wanted to stop and fling its doors

open for me.  But the sign said, “Do not jump.”

 

 

 

The Girl in the Purple Dress (for June)

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Her name was June, but she left in May,

before the sunflowers could bloom and ask

for more days.  In the stone church, whispers

spoke of the claim: cancer, a brain tumor.

Stolen summer laid her cold, draped in flowers

taken in their bloom. They would die soon. 

I kept my head bowed, listened for June,

waited for the preaching, sobbing, and hymns to end.

In the front of the church, in a purple dress

with a black bow in her hair, June’s daughter sat;

I knew her well. She looked straight ahead and made

no sound, and that is why I kept my head down.

And when the cars were gone, and I was alone

I wept, and I wept to the church and through June.

The last months of her life, when the brain tumor

grasped and haunted her head, June had changed.

And her daughter, so many days, so many different

colored bows, would tell stories of the crazy things

her mom would do and stay. And it wasn’t June.

It wasn’t your Mom. I cry because we have lost

part of summer, but I weep for her girl in the purple dress,

and the June she remembered as she sat on those steps.

pushed around by darkness

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been pushed around by darkness

for decades and for days,

nights go on for weeks,

stillness that sits like moss

on granite in the shade

days pass, slowly wait,

knowing no change, only

time dragging me to night

where waiting crashes and falls

and certain death takes me

every night, leaving a trembling

girl curled in the middle of the bed

to face more of what, that,

nothing, shattered windows and

boarded up doors, hope doesn’t

stop here anymore, shadows

chase, sharp numbness

overtakes, stripped bare

and broken by tidal waves.

 

Puddles

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All night she stayed,
forehead pressed 
against the chilly window, 
waiting for the rain 
to turn to snow. 
Pleading eyes watched 
the streetlight, as rain 
fell down, and wind 
chased it sideways. 
All she needed 
was to see it turn 
white, to cover life 
outside the window 
with tiny pieces of 
icy hope. 
But morning brought 
only dark puddles 
outside and on 
her face. 

The Woman at the Corner

I noticed you on the corner because you look

just like me, but then I saw your cardboard sign with its

searing words, “Mother of 2, homeless, can’t feed kids,”

and all I could think was your sign was the same color

as my minivan.  And tonight my kids would eat a nice

dinner and sleep in their own comfortable rooms and

play games on the computer and text their friends.  I tried

to look away, but I couldn’t because I saw your eyes, and

they spoke of being broken, and shame covered me

like a spider web.  The stoplight had changed to green,

and I had to move on.  You watched me drive

away, and your head dropped.  My purse sat next to me,

but with no cash, I kept driving, until there were more

drops on my cheeks than on the windshield, and I turned

into the bank, to the ATM, and anxiously pulled $20 out

as the rain fell harder.  Driving back, I feared you would be

gone, and my shame would stay, but you were still there,

sign now on top of your head, on that somber corner, shivering,

waiting.  And I stopped.  I handed you $20, and you whispered,

“Thank you.”  I got in my car, turned up the heat to high,

tried to feel better about that corner, about the spider webs

of shame.  As the wipers swished the rain away, I tried

to picture two kids eating dinner with their mother, but

all I could see was the needle marks running up your arm

as I handed you the damp $20. You will be there

 at the somber corner tomorrow, too.

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The Door

The door won’t close. You can’t walk through it

anyway. It’s dark in there, cobwebs in every weary

corner.  Secrets hang like fog on morning water, air thick,

creeping toward the open door, but staying.

Outside is bright and green and calls to you, but still

you stay, in gloom.  A hand grips you in darkness,

pulls you deeper, away from the door.  Cobwebs catch

your face.  I pass by and hear you weeping.  You can’t

reach the door.

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Good Morning!

Good morning….echoes throughout my blog which has yet to find readers 😉 .  That’s ok.  I will continue to share.  If you write it, they will come, right?  Well, maybe…

“I have learned now that while those who speak about ones miseries usually hurt, but those who keep silence hurt more. ” 
― C.S. Lewis

This is what I am contemplating today.  There are times I want to hide and run away and hear only silence for days.  I don’t want to talk to anyone.  I want to be dropped off in the middle of the forest somewhere, such is my need to escape the chaos around me.  Do other people feel the same?  I don’t know.  Some people thrive upon it, I think.

When I feel bad, really bad, like the kind of bad where I am spending hours with the pillow over my head and purposely stepping in front of speeding cars, I don’t want to talk to anyone.  I don’t want to hear from anyone.  I want to be ALONE.  And yet, somewhere inside I know that isolation is not the answer.  I have to force myself to talk to people, to step outside the house.

And, usually, the things I least want to talk about the the things I need to talk about most….