a list of overused words

to be amended at my leisure

beautiful

brilliant

classy

universe

perfect

love

forever

never

always

promise

A list of words I’d rather hear

To be amended as I see fit

intoxicating

enchanting

radiant

treasure

flawed

cherish

enraptured

galaxy

multiverse

magical

eternally

nevermore

love

It’s not a perfect comparison, but it’s a start.

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inevitable

Close the shudders tight, darling.

Chain yourself down

Hold on to the ground

Or else float away

Into space

Into… me

And what we can be.

Pretend not to notice me, baby.

You know it won’t work

Because I was the first

To ever hold your heart

From the start

It was us, it was you

It was we.

Write yourself another story, love.

The ink spills onto the page

In the shape of my name

What can you do?

I am part of you

We are… true.

Back away from me, sweetheart

When you finally fall asleep

Appear in your dreams

Erase the themes

The regrets, the reasons

Just let me rest

On your chest… say yes.

Desperado

What’s that old lyric,

How’s the song go?

“You better let somebody love you

Before it’s too late”

I’m standing here

Wanting to be that one and

You’re quiet again – contemplating or brooding or

Arguing with fate.

Would you let anyone?

Is it possible for you?

To open your heart up completely

And let me crawl inside

I’m waiting here

Sleepwalking through the days and

Daydreaming at night – of our future, our dogs and

Trips we’ll take.

Before it’s too late

(Is it already too late?)

Timing [draft]

“Everything happens at the perfect time.”

Angie settled back into her new oak porch swing and looked out over her newly purchased land.  She was a farmer now.  She didn’t even know what that meant, but she felt contentment and peace about it and that was what mattered.  She could figure out the rest.

This land had once belonged to Angie’s beloved Grandfather, Warren Toombs.  He was the one who talked to her about timing.  In fact, he talked to her about a lot of things.  Angie grinned as she remembered the way his voice would go up an octave when he got excited about things – marigolds, iced coffee, the way pancake batter would bubble up while it cooked.

They were fast friends, Grandfather and Angie.  Even as a little girl, he made her feel seen, appreciated, and loved in a way she figured only grandfathers could do.  In his life before Angie, Warren had been a teacher, a preacher, and a decorated World War II hero.   Angie wondered if she’d ever know another man as great as he was.

When he died, he left this big farm to Angie and her husband, Crew.  Some months later Crew and Angie split up and this big hunk of dirt with brown grass and a few cows on it was just about the only thing he didn’t try to fight her for.  She was thankful.  She would have killed him over it, they both knew, and this beautiful morning looking at this beautiful sunrise, Angie was plenty grateful she wasn’t gazing out from behind metal prison bars.

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

Little Angie was 8 years old when her father went away. She had been sitting out on her grandmothers’ screened-in porch, coloring a picture, when she felt the energy shift.  It was almost dinner time, and normally there would be pots clanging and music playing inside the house, people chatting about their work or about Angie and her big brother, Duke.  But this day, the house was silent, save for the monotone murmur she could barely make out coming from the den.

Angie walked inside the house and towards the humming noise.  As she approached it, she realized it wasn’t humming at all, but a man talking very seriously into a microphone.  She didn’t understand most of what he was saying, but she heard words like “guns” and “narcotics”.  She wasn’t totally sure what narcotics were, but she knew by the reporter’s tone of voice that they were bad.  Just then, the man stopped talking and  stepped out of view.  When he did, Angie saw a house she recognized.  A two-tone brown split-level with a big, sloping front yard and an Asian garden, complete with cement pagoda.

“Daddy?”  She wasn’t sure if she screamed it or whispered it.  Angie looked on, eyes bulging, as two mean-faced cops held on to either side of her father, marching him slowly down the driveway and into a waiting police car.  Angie was frantic, but she stood there quietly.  She surveyed the den, searching Grandfather’s face, then Grandmother’s, then Duke’s, hoping that someone would explain to her what was happening – and how she should feel about it.  No one met her gaze.  No one said anything at all.

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

I Am Woman

There’s this guy who stands outside at parent walk-up at my son’s school. I do not know him. Every day when I walk up, he stares at me. I don’t mean lingering glance, I mean full-on staring at me like a I was prancing down the sidewalk with a singing kangaroo hanging out of my purse. And he does it every. single. day.

It happened last year, too. Never a “hello” from this guy or a smile or even a weak, “you look so familiar.” Nope. He just looks at me without blinking for an inordinately long amount of time. My kids have asked me who he is. I don’t have any idea, except that he is a grown man with apparent respect and boundary issues.

Now….normally I’m not a confrontational person. My father calls me “peace keeper”. I prefer to avoid arguments when possible. I try to model problem solving behaviors to my kids. I’m not violent. But this guy, this guy is stepping over a line and I think it’s because I am female and I am small and to this man, small female equals powerless. Voiceless.

It makes me angry. It makes me wish I was some secret super-ninja so I could just reach out and snap his arm in half and leave him in a heap by his truck.

The funny thing about my size is that – as I said to my friend today – I am not small on the inside. I am mighty, lionhearted, and full of righteous indignation. You will not make repeated attempts to humiliate me or back me into a corner and not receive commensurate response.

So one day, as I was walking towards my son, this man was walking the opposite direction (towards me), his gaze fixed on my face the entire time. I had had enough. I stopped, right in front of him, took off my sunglasses, and asked him loudly if he had a problem. Yep. Gangster style. Threw out my arms and said “do you have a problem?”

Actually now that I think about it, it was much more Jennifer Love Hewitt screaming, “What do you want from me?!?” than anything else.

The guy… a bit unsettled by my Moms in da Hood behavior… stopped, looked at the ground, muttered something, and then made a beeline for his vehicle. Since then, each afternoon at walk-up, he makes a concerted effort to look anywhere else but at me. There have been a handful of afternoons that I stare directly at his face, daring him to look at me. He doesn’t.

Victory? Maybe. Maybe he’s not a bad guy. Maybe he thinks I’m a bitch (I don’t care.) I think plenty of men don’t know how scary/creepy/intimidating they can be. Maybe he was clueless. Maybe he’s just rude. I don’t know.

What I do know – or hope – is that thanks to our brief exchange he won’t choose to look at a woman like she’s on the damn dinner menu just because she’s small, or attractive, or defenseless against it. He knows now that despite appearances, she might call him on his disgusting behavior. A lion may live within her.

(Hear me roar.)

Uprising

When loving someone is a rebellious act…

…revolt.

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