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Archive for September, 2010

his gifts

He told me his gifts were irrevocable

Why couldn’t I believe?

Ideas clutter my mind like books clutter my desk

Soft voices whisper through speakers

I sway,

eyes shut, just focusing on the one gift

the one wrapped in an old newspaper

tied with twine

Always sitting right in front of me.

The print leaves a black trail on my fingers

I turn the package in my hands


a bestowed gift, the moment we’re sharing now

I tear it open like a child

black and white text fluttering like snow and floating down to the floor

here it is

the now

his gift

his present

the present

His voices comes clear through the speaker

“enjoy it, it was made for you…

with love”

hushed voices take over, in song

I sway, eyes closed

falling in love with the moment


the hollow eyes of change

painting by day

and dreaming by night

thinking about lost shoes

and writing drafts that just get ripped out and torn up

change has been trying to meet my gaze

I just advert my eyes

and examine my feet

institutional gray

the walls were painted an institutional gray, lighting dim and florescent

The  center room was set up like a class.

What could they teach me here?

It had no windows, only chairs and mirrors

mirrors with inscriptions about beauty and loving yourself

I smiled at the effort

A woman spoke at the front of the room, slides flashed behind her

an assist for those who can’t pay attention

I doodled on my hand-out, hardly looking up

I had been so afraid of this day

of this moment

but here I was, coloured pen posed in fingers

and something about the room warmed me on the inside

it wasn’t the walls

or the encouraging inscriptions on the mirror

or the sympathetic smiles from the therapists stationed around the room

It was the girls

Beside me and around me

it was that they were there

That they had the courage to come

to lay their dirty laundry for all to see and assume

to pull out their hearts from hiding

to turn them in the dim lighting

showing off the scuffs and knotches

the fingerprints and the dents

not compare the sizes or the wear but just expose them

I was amazed at their confidence

and although I was there too, I felt below them

like I was still hiding

beneath my fringe of hair

They were handing over their hearts to be refined and molded and I was keeping my in the deep pocket of my sweater

Right here and now I reach my worn fingers in the soft pocket and feel the rough edges of my heart

I am not ready to pull it out

but soon I will be

maybe I already did a little

this is fiction

I sit at a white desk

it has paint smears and pencil marks

my chair is black aluminum frame.

I make fiction from real life

trade in a document for a grade

here it is

The carnival is brightly lit with different coloured lights. Stuffed toys dangle from tents, hosting games for a dollar.

Toss a pingpong in a can, throw a baseball at some bottles.

Guessing games and fishing games.

Money into pockets.

Trailers selling food, kettle corn and caramel corn. Hot dogs on a stick and coloured ice in a cone.

Many of her classmates have candy floss and glossy apples. Sugar rotting at teeth, like maggots eating flesh.

and the rides, Oh the rides.

The ferris wheel is the king. Towering over children and teens.

It keeps the music going, faded out by screams and laughter.

The ground is decorated with red tickets and littered wrappers.

A clown dances around, crunching dropped kernels under foot.

She avoids him, his goofy smile sends a chill up her spine.

She comes here alone, with hopes of riding the teacups.

She had seem a film, where girls sat in them and spun around. The girls were beautiful and they wore fancy dresses. They laughed and smiled. She wanted that.

So she waits until her parents have grown tired of fighting and fall into a drunk slumber. She puts on her favorite dress. The one she wears on Sunday. The hem has come undone and pocket hangs on by a few stitches, but it is a soft blue and the closet thing to what the pretty girls wore in the film.

She creeps out of the house on tip toes and runs down the street towards bright lights and whizmical sounds. At the entrance they are taking money. So she slips under the coloured flags, behind the big trailers and gets lost in the crowd.

The toothy woman checking seat belts asks for a ticket. Pockets empty she is asked to leave. She bashfully gets up from her seat in the pink cup, but she can’t go home yet. The carnival is like nothing she’s ever seen in real life.

Children from her class are here with mums and dads. Parents carry prizes. Children whine and point at the next best thing.

They don’t notice her.

That she is there alone.

That her dress is tattered and her shoes scuffed.

She wanders around taking it all in.

Then she sees it.

A white porcelain face, brown ringlets tumbling out of bonnet, and set in glass eyes. They glitter in the lights. Her dress is perfect, soft silk or satin with lace edging. And the daintiest black shoes. Mary-Janes in miniature.

Approaching the bench for a closer look, the man running the booth takes note of the lost girl. He sees that she has come alone. Then he looks her over. Her skin looks so soft, and her shoulder delicate, shown bare where hand-me-down dress falls off her frame. Her sweet innocent frame. His gaze ventures to her face, her eyes look playful and dreamy, he follows them to the doll hanging in his booth.

She sees him looking at her and smiles. His face is furry and his clothes look gruff. But something about him reminds her of her grandfather. She walks confidently up to the man and asks how much to play.

He crouches down to her level, her breath is sweet like milk and cookies, and her hair smells like flowers. She speaks so soft. She wants to play for the doll, but has no money.

Then without anyone noticing, both man and girl are heading towards the trailer behind the booth.

And the carnival carries on. The lights, the music, the laughter.

The clown is now handing out balloons to kids with sticky fingers. His eyes are crazy and wild. The teacups stop spinning. All the patrons exit to the left. A teenage boy is sick in a garbage pail.

From the top of the ferris wheel the little girl can be seen on a dim lit street . She carries the beautiful doll by its arm. Her clothes are ruffled and she drags her feet. Her hair is a mess and her cheeks are streaked with tears. The doll’s glass eyes no longer sparkle, they just stare at her. They look ashamed. She stuffs a sleeve in her mouth to muffle her sobs and trudges on back home.

my stomach turns when I think that this came from my mind

that my imagination goes to places that don’t impress

places of sadness

where endings are not happy

where people don’t come away with a smile

but this is what I wrote.


(linking up with emily’s imperfect prose)

in the hush of the moon

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Today they shared a picnic under the ever changing sun

dolls at their side

a bowl of grapes and milk in mason jars

gooey muffins and bottle for baby dolls

an onlooker would think nothing of it

but the one with deepset eyes was just entering adulthood

while the brunette with a sunny smile was leaving childhood

they were in different places

but here everything was perfect

Tonight they went to the fair

Lights flashed and children screamed

the younger one clung to the eldest

and tightly squeezed her hand

she hopped and flapped like a new bird learning to fly

as they waiting in line

the eldest saw the boy she knew

he would never understand

he looked on in confusion

I am the elder sister, with deep set eyes

I sit next my beloved brunette on carnival rides

feeling helpless that this is too much for her

the screams like jet planes taking off in her ears

the children like missiles shooting, spinning around her

She notices the lanky man running our ride

how he dances and cackles baring a toothless smile

I see the boy I know looking at me

He will never understand

Not many do, and that is alright

I’ll wait

The eldest sister will wait


she’ll wait patiently for the right one to come along

like she waits patiently now for the ride to end

for the teenagers to exit the gates

so she can hold sisters hand tight and run for the parking lot

Because once the two girls reach the orange lit parking lot they can breath fresh air

unpolluted with kettle corn and chili-dogs

They’ll return home to baby dolls and dance in their pink slippers

the clickedy clack of the train

It was the best day.

I wrote letters on the train and picked through buttons and other vintages pieces in the market.

Pumpkin Chai tea left a trail of stain down my white top

but I smiled and wore the stain proud

We laugh and engaged eachother in dreamy conversation

The uncertain future, so fresh on our minds

She wore cowboy boots

I wore blue cords

and he wore a goofy smile, that made both us laugh

The street was full of strangers

but we were the only three there

I finished my book on the ride home

the clickedy clack of the train, just a soft hum in my ears

Waited at the station until I saw a little red car pull in and I collapsed next to sister in the backseat of family car

I showed off new belongings

We ran inside, getting sprinkled with raindrops and soaking feet in dark puddles

At home I felt something good

something I had not felt for so long

I cannot say what it was, but

I did not rush to my room to hide my face away

I did not have to blink eyelids, constant.

Keeping salty tears at bay

resting sore legs, I snuggled under quilt

sleeping with a smile, the outside sounds mixed with the ones inside singing a light lullabye

It was the best day.

send them…please

The leaves are starting to show their sun marks

sporting yellow, amber, gold and orange

as they start to piece together like a puzzle on the grass.

I thought we’d be gone from here by now

watching the summer sun duck below the horizon line in a different room from a different window

but here we are

I know the people are out there

the ones he has chosen

but oh Lord, why are they not here

please send them soon

send them to buy our house