the snow came back, I felt it melt down my cold cheek.
It shivered my bones and in a n instant I was reminded of the cold days,
with the short hack job haircut, a tiny frame, lying in a fetal pose under piles of quilts.
Blue hands, I never want to see those blue hands.
so I must use these hands now, strong and able, to pull me out of the way
I clasp my hands in a shameful prayer, I know what he’ll tell me,
He’s been whispering it my ear all week.
He’ll tell me to step out of the way, to follow his stride
and he’ll sweep me off my feet and into a waltz step
I just have to make the first move.
So I pick up my lazy legs
stand close, I’m afraid of falling
Even the trees here whisper,
they point their twig like fingers at the people below and cackle in the wind.
They reach out their crooked branches,
we grab on to this extended gesture.
but branches break and we come crashing down
hitting backs hard on the ground.
I would like to rest in a hammock, hang it from a tree in the yard but the branches shake and I shy away.
We would like to put up a swing for sister,
the trees know
they scratch the windows in the dark night and listen in to our private chatter
They grow up the walls of our house and spread our words to fellow flora
I sit sipping coffee and watch the trees toss gossip in the wind
I watch trees knock down a stranger because they do not fit the town’s mold
We run about under these trees
and try to find shelter where we can just be
but they take our words
and we become silent in our motion
hush and chatter
branches twigs and limbs in the wind
pray for the leaves to come,
fresh and green,
muffling the ears of These Trees
I can not write and all I paint is flowers,
I sketch sofas and paint flowers.
this is weak and weary
this new town is beautiful but all the music has been turned down.
It is hard to dance without a beat
I vacuum my bed and eat soggy rice and lentils.
I try to write beauty, to spill poetry on paper
but this is all I can force out.
just a drip from the teapot, a small stain on paper.
strum my guitar and go to bed.
I got a job offer and I cried.
I tore it apart
and chewed on it all day
I spit it out
organized the soggy pieces into a pros and cons list
and dripped tears on the paper
ink ran until it swirled in a murky puddle on the floor
I looked into the puddle hoping for an answer
salty blue mess…
So, I wiped it up
and made my decision.
Writing is important.
It draws people in
Demands their full attention
Spoken words can be powerful, but they ring out in vibration and eventually become lost in the roar of highway cars and the click of tiny keypads.
Written words are permanent, they can never be fully erased.
Even when thrown in the flame, they become dust and mingle around our being, then in stillness settle at our feet
PART 2 the HOLE
We lived in a green siding house on the corner,
It was a rental, and on late evenings Mum cried and Dad would shout about being in the hole.
I was puzzled.
Holes were dark and scary, our little place was a bright green with a cement block out front.
That block was our stage.
Dad brought us home new dress up clothes and we put on a show.
There was a garden in the back, down a grassy slope.
The perefect sized tobogganing slope for toddlers in the winter.
The garden was small and thriving. It grew carrots, legumes, rhubarb and tomatoes. On hot summer’s days Mum and I would eat the fresh peas right off the vine. Dad made pickles from cucumbers and I marveled at how the flavour went from soft and plain, to a nose scrunching bite.
We were schooled in that home, and we slipped out at break to eat Popsicles in the sun.
This place was not a hole.
This was the place where a prayer was changed and then a prayer was answered.
We sat on the bottom step, of the staircase in our home. Mum and I, and I told her…
I could not ask for a baby girl,
so I changed my prayer
and in a months time, Mum and Dad called us together at the dining room table.
J squirmed and N looked bored, I tried not to sit on my knees in those blue chairs we owned.
The ones from an old restaurant, will the vinyl puffy seats. They had nails that stuck out below the vinyl. They were sharp on your knees.
Parents spoke, words came together in sentences, and my tiny eyes lifted, the boys hooted and hollered.
A baby boy, a brother. We were having a baby.
They forgot to invite her to the support group.
It must have hurt, pierced flesh deep,
She waved it off,
Like she waves off the pain in her knees
Like she waves off the bruises on her heart, from each time a rebellious teenager took a bat to it.
She needs support most right now and they forgot to invite her.
So mummy let your tears fall down
Each one precious and valid.
God collects them in his cup
Remember when you sang to me about the overflowing cup?
Well he has turn your tears into love
and it overflowing all over you.
It puts me in my place
reminds me how small I am
the lake, stretching beyond what I can see, it is just a tiny tear drop in the palm of my maker
If the lake is a tear drop…
we must all be specks of glitter, I decide
like ones we use to craft valentine’s on our dining room table
we shine and shimmer off eachother
all different shapes, sizes and colours
The lake makes me want to write
to start my book
because it is not for the little glitter people that float
about beside me, but for him and him only
so here I begin.
let me start before her start,
back to the days of pink bedrooms, and white framed toddler beds
a wallpaper border of puppies and kitties
two rough and tough big brothers
who pull my hair and laugh at my pretend games
The huggable J who always finds trouble
and a tattle tale N, the eldest and wisest
back to the days of Daddy sandwiching us three together and dropping us off in our beds,
We take the boys upstairs first, and kiss each one good night
then I am last
back down the stairs and to the room at the end of the hall
he plops me into my blankets and he and mum shower me in goodnight kisses and hugs.
when the lights are out and I hear their quiet chatter in the family room,
I slip out of my bed and get on both knees.
Chubby child hands clasped tight, and a head of messy hair, bows
I asked a little prayer
to the BIG man up in the sky
he never answers
but it is always the same prayer,
night after night
dolls and stuffed toys lay with me under covers
and my hushed words echo through the dark of the night.