Coming back with me

Dreams sometimes scare me
In their emotional force
The feelings I had in the dream
Are still with me when I wake up
And sometimes
Can set the pattern for all day

Last night I had such a dream
I was living in my house that I had in California
Except that it wasn’t rural anymore
There were shacks everywhere
With people cooking over fires
And old rusty cars in piles on the hill
I actually had one room and the kitchen
And I kept inside
I had fear, but didn’t know why

And then my late son knocked at the door
He was back
The happiness swept me like a storm
We held each other. We talked.
We cried.
But then he went to the store
And died in an accident again
Then he came back to my door
Then left for school
And died in an accident again

I ran out into the road
Lined with shacks
And people waved hello
Like nothing had happened

I woke up gasping
Not wanting to open any doors today.

But I did.
I drove to the gym
And walked on the treadmill
At a slow pace
Easing my silent screaming muscles into action
I lasted 20 minutes.

The fear and the dread in my heart were gone
Replaced by muscles who are telling me they
Don’t like me anymore.

Something missing

There is no wind in Georgia
Maybe some summer breezes in the morning
But if thunderstorms are not forecast in the afternoon
Then it’s still, silent and humid

Its loss reminded me of wind I loved
Wind hitting my face
And tangling my hair while I was on the back of a motorcycle
Going fast on a freeway or a mountain back road
Goggles let me see without the fear of bugs hitting my eyes
And the faster we went – the more the wind was thrilling
It made me feel alive

Wind at the top of a mountain whipping around
As you stood looking in all directions
The wind felt like a messenger
Bringing you knowledge of far-off places
If you were open to receiving it

Wind that drove those tumble weeds across the desert
And across roads of traffic
I thought of those traveling weeds as my anxieties of grief
When one was hit at a high-speed
It would break up and disappear
But most just traveled with the unseen wind off
To other places as problems for other people

Winds that scared me
Included a night hurricane I was in as a child
The power went off
The shutters banged loudly against the house
Like guns going off
My parents worried
And they wouldn’t let me near the windows
But I desperately wanted to see
It was scarier not knowing than actually seeing

Winds in New Mexico sometimes blew for
Periods of days at high-speed
The desert sand forced its way under the doors and windows
At night the wind howled like a being that wanted to be free

I always wondered why the cacti were so low to the ground
And now I know it was because its survival required a plan.

As we all do.

My reinvention

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My coat is too small

It’s so uncomfortable

I want to take it off

but it’s resisting

It likes the way it fits

and doesn’t want to make

way for a new coat

But this coat does not suit my life anymore

I want one that’s lighter

and easier to move in

so I can dance in the moonlight

run to see the fireflies

and meditate in the sunshine

instead of being smothered to death

by an outdated version of myself.

Sometimes you just shouldn’t

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trying to salvage my spirit

looking at photos of people I once knew

stumbled upon a photo of my ex and his friend

who was my friend also

time had done its work with their faces

as it has with all of us

all i could see was the night i was beaten

and running toward this friend’s house

to find some sanctuary – to find some meaning

in this unpredictable trauma

upon me

huddling battered and bruised with my son on his doorstep

ringing the bell

he came to the door

shocked, he took a step back

“i can’t be involved in this.” and he shut the door

he wouldn’t let us in.  he refused us safety

to remain friends with a man who attacked me

then the door opened

his girlfriend came out and took us to her place

gave us comfort, medical attention and safety

i left the next day – never to return.

i made the right decision.  i found my spirit then.

i can find it now.  i am a survivor.

A Chance-sighting of Coyotes

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I saw the first one out of the corner of my eye
The second ran into view
they were loping across the field
next to my house
I ran outside to get a better look
and was rewarded by seeing a third coyote
following the first two
His tail was out straight from his body
as he ran
and looked for humans.
He hid in a ditch before he crossed the road
into the large field across the street.

Humans around here have guns
and like to shoot coyotes
I’ve seen them pop a coyote right off the ground
with a long-range shot across a field.
In fact, a local newspaper
has a columnist who hates coyotes
and writes about what demons they are
He posts pictures of them caught in his traps
Their legs all bloody from trying to get away
I asked him not to post such horrible photos
they were offensive
He wrote back to me to not look at them
if I was such a sissy.
He runs a coyote-pest business
he says he has a license to “put them down” in a humane manner
which is probably a shot in the head at close range
after he traps them and starves them
His hate appalls me.

I wished these coyotes safe passage through the night
looking for their dinner
and wished them protection from the other humans nearby.

Over again

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I packed the ornaments away today
I saw your bell you made in first grade
with a pipe cleaner for a hanger
and I wrapped up all the ornaments
I’ve bought for you over these years
you’ve been gone
I didn’t get one this year
I couldn’t face hanging another one
that meant you were not here
26 years
you’ve been dead longer than you were alive
But those 21 years you were here
were wondrous and amazing
that I could have a child like you
was the wonder of my life
You made me a better person
I could use some more of that now.

Truth?

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People are absorbed in their phones
Whether talking, listening or sending photos
The sense of what is real is getting lost

On a fall day’s walk through the town,
At local sporting games, fans hold their phones
Up high in the air to see take photos
Of the places where they ARE

At a festival, I walked toward
A young woman who eating ice cream
Giggling loudly
She held a phone in her other hand
And dipped one shoulder in toward the phone
And she took her picture eating the cone
With the look of her having the time of her life
She took the photo
She stopped giggling and smiling
Took the phone
And checked out the picture
She threw the ice cream away
In a nearby trash bin
And walked away – no smile, no giggles

Yet, probably on her social page
She posted what a great time she had

Knock at the Door

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Dreams sometimes scare me
In their emotional force
The feelings I had in the dream
Are still with me when I wake up
And sometimes
Can set the pattern for all day

Last night I had such a dream
I was living in my house that I had in California
Except that it wasn’t rural anymore
There were shacks everywhere
With people cooking over open fires
And old rusty cars in piles on the hill
I actually had one room and the kitchen
And I kept inside
I had fear, but didn’t know why

And then my late son knocked at the door
He was back. He was alive.
The happiness swept me like a storm
We held each other. We talked.
We cried.
But then he went to the store
And died in an accident again
Then he came back to my door
And we cried and talked
Then he left for school
And died in an accident again

I ran out into the road
Lined with shacks
And people waved hello
Like nothing had happened

I woke up gasping
Not wanting to open any doors today.

But I did.
I drove to the gym
And walked on the treadmill
At a slow pace
Thinking of the good times with my son
Easing my silent screaming muscles into action
I lasted 20 minutes.

The fear and the dread in my heart were gone
Replaced by muscles who are telling me they
Don’t like me anymore.

Nature’s Way

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The trees are showing their colors
Slowly, bringing winter closer
The pain in my foot has been sharp
These past few weeks
Stopping me from walking around
Casually
To compound matters
I used a walking stick to help relieve the pressure
On my heel
And pulled a muscle in or around my shoulder
On the same side as the painful foot

Getting out of bed or a chair is a task
I am not a hero about pain
It colors my whole day
I try to push past it
Using the mild exercises
And applying the cream the doc ordered
But my mood is like a spoiled child

I want to feel better now. Not tomorrow
But now
I’ve got things to do, pictures to take
Pain and poetry
Come out sounding like whining
I know people deal with more pain
Than this on a daily basis
I applaud their stamina and their strength

And think, maybe if I took better
Care of myself
I wouldn’t be paying for it now.
Or maybe it is me telling myself
To slow down
Take a load off
Do some thinking
About a plan for being a healthy me.

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