Wake My Sleep

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Two Right Feet.”

Roll over
calm the electronic songbird,
stare up at the ceiling.

Count moving objects in the sky
give thanks to blinking plane that hovers.
Hope it does not meet its demise
above my head.

Think about snuggling with the dog,
wrapped still and snoring in the blankets.
Think about calling in sick
to wrench out a unique day.

Drag feet to shower, still slaving routine.
Wipe eyes under water.

Wish things were delayed by even an hour
wish for more sleep.

Wrapped in a towel and warm from the water
clean thoughts start to take shape.

If things were really pushed back an hour,
if I could reverse back to bed
I would be scrambling, awake but unshowered
and late for the day planned ahead.

Fault

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Agree to Disagree.”

No.

You don’t know how they feel.
Your vision of how they live is a hodgepodge
of stereotypes, ruffled feathers
and a shock of words you hear on the radio.

You watch the window with unblinking eyes
and tell me how your world works.

I get it.

Your life has not been easy.
Your kids have left you, your marriage is a sham,
and you are miserable.

Just like you like it.

But it is not their fault.
It is not the fault of those you will never meet,
Or the man who held the door open for you
Or the woman who cut you off
Or the child that sassed you.

It is not my fault, either
for defending them when they are left without an umbrella
to weather your rumbling storm.

I will not defend you when you are intolerant.
I will not let you silence me.
But I will watch how you temper your hate

When the next man holds the door open
When the next woman waves you on
When the next child smiles and reaches for you.

I will watch your monster fade into the ether
And I will love you all the same.

You’re Right

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bone of Contention.”

You’re right,
I did a bad thing.
I added to the suffering of others
those whom I care about deeply.
I alienated you and caused the alienation of others from those
I care about deeply.

But I was not alone.

You’re right,
I don’t deserve your forgiveness.
I don’t deserve your friendship
I won’t be seen by you as anything but what I have done

I am no longer a person you can trust
or like

But I won’t be punished by you.

You’re right,
It’s hard to look at me,
It’s hard for you to understand how anyone else would
I am nothing but trash
to you

But I still exist.

I still have a heart
I refuse to apologize anymore
than I already have
I refuse to be made into an example.

I did not want the change for me to change everything
I did not want to disband the unity I could have felt with you
Or others.

But I don’t exist for you,
and I won’t spend time apologizing to you
because I didn’t do this to you.

I will miss you
and you’re right,

I’m not your friend anymore.

But I am hers.

Unfettered

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In Good Faith.”

Midwestern child, alone in my sorrow
No hope of home or cleanliness
no peace in my skin.

Until there is a light of love,
embraced by a faith I could touch.
Hymns, beautiful voices, intoxicating smells
of unity.

I took from that experience to mean family,
community with those who commune with God
and yet
I only ever latched onto the concept of karma.
I kept waiting for God to smite me with the bad things
after I had been bad.

The rest was nostalgia, wrapped up in my grandmother’s arms
or the smell of sacramental wine on my mother’s breath
the piercing resentment of tasting the Lord
through vicarious means.

How funny, the way I can peel God away
when I unlock my misery from His hands
and place it firmly into my own.

It no longer comforts me to know if He’s there

I am here, unfettered from the wash of wistfulness
finding peace in my present home
and feeding the children of my sorrow.

Contingency

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Oasis.”

Sometimes libraries,
knee-deep in the smell of thousands of fingers
turning pages

Sometimes stationery,
the white or pink or yellow papers
singing with nothingness
awaiting instruction

Sometimes music
symphonies dedicated to my heart
lyrics pouring out a likeness to my melancholy
or wiping it away with a rag.

Sometimes make-believe
in the written or aural or visual views
of yesterday
tomorrow
or never

Sometimes in the corner,
your hand the only one I want to touch me
the skin of mine you wear
will never materialize

But the comfort is always there.

Skin Metal, Part 2

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First!.”

The day she tugged off the armor,
the woman-child trembled.

Her fingers, twittering birds of frustration,
crept across the metal planes like the wind
caressing stone.

She bit into her lip, the scarf unraveling from her cheeks,
her skin prickling against the chest-plate,
now stuck to her like a tongue on a frozen lamp post,
and she winced.

She winced as the chafed skin underneath,
pinkened with blood
and naked with possibility
revealed one new set of eyes
and two sets of hands.

Those eyes had watched her skin unravel inside the armor,
those hands stretched out to steady her
offering a blanket, offering an embrace,
but only after each tendered piece of metal

each nook and cranny of remaining child
was well and truly gone.

Part 1

Beachcomber

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Be the Change.”

I want to herald the next wave
renaissance the writers and weave
the words I write
into their hearts and ears.

Allow writers to poem
to give weight to their worded feelings
to clear their throats and cull the craft

from their daily tweeted toast.

Bring the poetry back to the electronic age
and let us all solidify our footprints
with beauty and grace
with ugly and awkward
with one-hundred new words in our creative lockers
and the old emotions still washing ashore.

Differential

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “New Skin.”

Another year as me,
three decades in the making, soft and subtle
loud and luxurious

or not.

Instead a year as a penguin,
perpetually blended, one of the same
spilling putrid fishmeat to my offspring
and mating for life.

Instead a year as a man,
working to express myself
in ways I’d only longed for,
cavorting between conforming and stereotype
finding pastime in the pleasures
of y-chromosome
with enhanced paralysis upon discovering
the rules are not all that different.

Instead a year in a different decade,
drawling on the dance floor in the old saloons,
kicking up my boots and the skulls of my enemies

or breaking the laws of society
tearing my corset in half
and pouring the brocade over the battlements

announcing my presence
with a yell
a whoop
a caterwaul

a resonant riptide of realization

I will always want to be