Poetry Month, Day 27: Fleeting

Fleeting

Life’s web of relationships 
And its exigencies 
Dependency and needing
Worrying and wanting
Waiting or escaping
All made valid by the smile
The clasp of a hand
The warm moment of connection
When you 
And another soul
Are miraculously,
Unbelievably
Together in the same place
At the same time
Both of you present
And
Together
Before the moment,
Inexorable as moments are, 
Slips away like a hat caught in the breeze
Dancing off to a new place
A new connection
To be worn by two other
Fleetingly attached
Souls.

Poetry Month, Day 26: Interstices

Interstices

How many times have I filled in the blanks
Supplied the responses
Created the conversations
That I needed to have with people
When I lacked the courage
Or will
Or opportunity
To have that conversation properly?
And how many decisions have I made,
Based on impressions formed
In the vacuum
Of my own fears?
How much of my life’s “solid” framework
Is built on shifting suppositions and guesses?

Poetry Month, Day 25: Joy

Joy

There is joy
in the smell of warm earth
and the feel of it underfoot

There is comfort
in the press of hot sun
on my downturned head and working shoulders

There is redemption
in turning the soil
in pots that held only death

There is benediction
in the caress of cool breeze
lifting my hair from my neck

There is victory
in reclaiming a garden
neglected and forgotten during the death of my marriage

Now there will be life
Now there will be beauty
Now there will be joy

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Poetry Month, Day 24: Let

Let

Please don’t sit across the table
And say that
You “could never let
Your husband do to you
What my ex did to me”
As though it were a thing I had approved
Endorsed
–As though the murder victim
Permits
The murderer
To select the knife.
I was not complicit in anything
Except trying to make my marriage work.
Trying to meet him halfway.
Trying to see him through a difficult time,
Hoping it was a phase that would pass.
When I found out the price
Of complaisance,
I left.
(Can you approve of me now?
But I didn’t do it for you, or for any outside observer.)
Your choices might not be the same as mine
In a particular situation –
But that does not mean
That mine were wrong
Or that I
Let
It
Happen
Through some lack of will
Or of vision
Or of self-respect.
I don’t need or want your contempt
In its mask of concern.
Keep it for yourself
For the day you realize
You’ve let something happen
To you.

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell

Poetry Month, Day 23: Tool/Weapon

Tool/Weapon

It occurs to me that I
Am afraid to hope,
Lest I get hurt.
When did I learn to fear hope?
When did hope become a knife
Too sharp for me to touch,
Too dangerous for me to trust?
When did I decide
I was too inept
Too stupid
Not worthy
Of hope?
I always thought of hope as a gift
But now I see it as a tool
That can also be used as a weapon.

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell

Poetry Month, Day 22: Conundrum

Conundrum

Am I not dancing
Because I’m in pain,
Or am I in pain
Because I’m not dancing?
These are the questions I ponder
As I feel or fear
My art
Slipping away from me.
Should I push through the pain,
The exhaustion,
The simply not wanting to?
Or should I coast gently into the sunset
Of my disability?
For the first time in over sixteen years of effort,
Just
Let
It
Win?
The thought is strangely enticing.
The soft, slow drift of un-effort
The lambent caress of no-pain
The quietly darkening days
Until everything, everything
Reaches a slow tempo and quiet
Where I can live
Gently.
Gentle is a word I crave
I hunger for gentle
As a child hungers for sweets.
Again,
I do not know if this
Is depression,
Or an acceptance of reality.
Sometimes hope is the delusion.

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell

Obviously, I’m a couple days behind. This poem explains why. :} I’m planning to catch up, although it may be after the month is up. I’m sticking with it!!

Poetry Month, Day 21: Hungry

Hungry

As I swam through the routine of my day,
Marking time in neat, small crescents of business,
It occurred to me, possibly for the first time:

I have lived a large part of my life under the petty rule of others
I have given my power to people who either feared me, or felt nothing for me
I have sought to aid them in accomplishing their goals, while neglecting
Or even actively subverting my own.

Through this whole process, there has been
A constant self-talk
An abnegation of my feelings
Rationalizations for complicity
My own denial of self
In lockstep with theirs.

Why? Am I afraid of myself? Do I feel nothing for myself?
Or do I simply think I do not deserve –
Do not deserve
Should not want, do not need
To be successful in my own right?
In my own way?

And perhaps the reason I eat so much is because
Secretly
I feel I don’t deserve a place at the table
Among all the greedy
desperate
selfish
mean-spirited
petty
brutal
callous
sharp-elbowed
people
I’ve surrounded myself with
For most of my life.

Well.
I do deserve to be a presence in the room.
And I will try, in future,
Not to bow out
Or back down
Or step away
From the feast.
Not to apologize, not even with the placement of my arms
Or the questioning line of my cautious shoulders
For my existence.

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell