still

i am restless,
out of place, so
i dream about moving to a town
so far away and small that
i am unknown — where the
only talk at the local diner is
the weather and coffee refills
but i stay here instead, practiced
pleasantries obscuring quiet
hope in a swirl of spoiled
creamer and
thin smiles.

in the car

lately 

when i get in the car, 

i have this vision 

of my death 
maybe it’s the news 

on the radio – but

the sun is shining

and then there’s that
hurtling rush of 

darkness and sound,

then frozen silence – 

and the sun is shining.

in memoriam peggy

she was looking but not looking

just beyond the naked boys
being beaten by their mother
an angry monster
with a smoker’s cackle

and in this way the
boys looked only like
twisted shadows of pain
cast against the wall

she was listening but not listening

to the sounds of abuse
a dark tune in her head
the steady beat of leather
against broken flesh

and in this way the
piercing wails seemed
more like high pitched echoes
ringing from afar

she was there but not there

bearing witness to nothing
anyone cared about –
was it a secret if no one
wanted to know?

and in this way it
never really happened
not even when she tried
to mention it to her parents

she learned but did not comprehend

years later, the allegory of
the caves, which for her classmates
was just a theory, but for her
was her childhood, her world

quavering shadows on a dim wall
distorted echoes of reality
her place among the darkly chained
what she knew about life for so long

and even now, she knows but does not really understand

hope

hope is a circle
complete
without end

a ring of faith: round and soft,
yet resilient and strong

a welcoming table around which
we gather, always room for more

a band endlessly looping
but holding us close,

a promise we make
to those we love most

a warm full embrace
that protects and comforts

infinite
and whole
hope is a circle

 

untitled thoughts

Mid-migraine

I’ve been losing memories
Just a fuzzy spot where
My childhood once was

I’ve been repeating myself
To retrace my thoughts
Scaling toward the present

Note to self: make new memories

mother

I never figured out
how to get along with
my mother, and now
despite my intentions,
I fear I travel that same 
road with my child.
People tell me she is
just on a journey and
will return. But lately,
I catch glimpses:
my dead mother
grinning at me in
the rear view mirror,
her arms reaching
around the seat to
pinch my guts
between her
angry fingers.

burned

he said he loved me 

I couldn’t say anything 

other than, “that’s nice” 

he handed me a baby

burned so badly that 

I couldn’t even cry

he left me and I held on 

to this baby who looked 

a little bit like me