The dancers

The officer comes in, straight face
the focus, he knows, is de-escalation
despite the mother’s bruises and her children’s tears
what happened here
is simple in the way nothing is, ever
It’s 1977 or 8 or 9
the time, it runs together when you see the same faces day by day
He, the husband has been drinking, again
shouting slurred words, imagined offenses
And the wife, with her children behind her just asks that he please leave
So the children can sleep
So that they can have peace, though the oldest one knows it’s just temporary
The officer can see it in her eyes, the kid, no more than 6 who dialed 911 because her mother was taking blows and couldn’t get to the phone…
He says, “come on sir, let’s go”
takes the husband by the arm and guides him outside, where the blue and white lights of his cruiser cast eerie dancing shadows on the homes facade.
They are visitors, these shadows.
Reminders to the officer that all is not well here,
And he thinks of his wife and his child, at home.

Penance

perhaps you are my secret
left in the darkness of a closet
filled with dry bones
that rattle like fallen leaves
on pavement on a crisp and windy day
yet unlike those drifting leaves
I can not sweep you away
because you are alive
with beating heart
a memory I revisit in the silent night
with hope
that I may somehow change the past
rinse you clean and bright as dawn
bring you back to Innocence
and into light
forgiven

Gone

her pillow is her company
since illusion has dissolved
to reality
like darkness to dawn
an understanding
that you and she could never work
despite her desire
and she was forced to face
her neediness and loneliness
and in some instances complete lack of any sense of self so lost
she hates it all and how
you strung up her dead dignity
and let it swing in the wind to be ridiculed
she was alive
the girl who once colored rainbows in black and white lines
is unpacking dark emotions
this purge may not bring purity
but it has brought clarity
and she is glad you are gone

Flight delay

birds don’t carry baggage
they leave it behind
and fly
perhaps that’s why we’re so different
because we carry with us
a pebble here, a twig there
baggage that bleeds
but never gets lighter
and keeps us earthbound
helplessly flapping
with our eyes skyward
exhausted by heavy weight
but still seeking ourselves
in the treetops
we are only sure to reach
if we let go

Happiness in simple things

Like finding just what you need in a place you maybe wouldn’t have thought to look. Inspired by the finding of a black bow tie at a thrift shop near downtown Indianapolis. It was the finishing touch to a Halloween costume and just as I began to think “we might need to go to a tuxedo shop somewhere and find a new one” there it was. I found it. All I needed was patience and the willingness to SEE. And all it cost, this bit of joy, was 40 cents!

Thrift
A dented gold bell tinkles a welcome
Where mounds of long forgotten and discarded things are sifted and sorted and hanged and shelved in order of size and type and color, though not so orderly that the undiscerning eye can find the value
But where small treasures nonetheless exist
where old things, used and dented and perhaps even abused things
When found by loving hands
Can be made new

After hearing Jane Fonda

I recently listened to a podcast that had me wondering why it takes so long for us to accept who we ARE and in that acceptance LOVE ourselves and be comfortable in our own skin. It’s elusive, this “be who you are because you are the only you” that is sold to us in so many self-esteem promoting “messages”. The “love you” messages are lost, mainly I think, because we are told so often that who we are isn’t “right” or enough. Bombarded with messages of inadequacy actually. Just turn on the television or open up an magazine and you’re there. So you spend your childhood feeling insecure and your teen years feeling ridiculous and your 20s feeling like you still can’t compare and so it goes into your 30s, 40s…and on and on if you don’t come to grips with who you are. The words of Jane Fonda in this podcast resonated as I listened. I am 41 and only now feeling like I can be who I am, Lisa, with no fear. She says in the podcast that she didn’t feel that way, like she could just be Jane, until she was in her 60s. I can’t imagine. I thought 40s was late! I always admire people who seem to get to this point earlier on in life. I’m so grateful that I’m here. I made it to the point where I can look in the mirror and embrace every aspect of me. And oh I am so looking forward to growing more fully and completely into this feeling of freedom. Because it is extremely freeing to just be me. As I contemplated the podcast earlier today, this came to mind so I wrote it down to share with whoever might stumble upon this blog post:

Being yourself means accepting the ugliest parts of you with the knowledge that they can become the most beautiful through your own WILLINGNESS to metamorphose – to, just like the caterpillar, do the WORK necessary to transform – no longer to crawl, but to fly.

What a feeling it is, to fly!

You can listen to the podcast here: http://www.wnyc.org/story/death-and-divorce-gave-jane-fonda-strength/

Home

Free form verse I wrote awhile ago, and thought I’d share.

In every house
there is a soul
Some tame, some wild
But souls nonetheless
With tales to tell
Secrets only the listener knows
Raw truths marked only by the passage of time
The lines soft and welcoming
Like wrinkles in an old woman’s smile
Scars on that pristine facade
Passersby see and judge
But never feel
They never know how the strong winds have ripped at its bones
How fire licked softly at its skin and turned the white picket fence to ash
Yet it remains
As promising as a newborn’s cry as dawn breaks upon its beloved head
Its foundation made a fortress through the pain
Standing silently under a cloudless blue sky
Waiting only for its master
To come home