quiet woman 2

mirror mirror

I am culpable as the mirror
hiding hiding hiding
curious about you
what is it you want to see?

I am always surprised
when a man lays his fantasy over me

I have hidden and studied people
for many years
now realize that that is why
the fantasy gets overlaid

I did not know
I was hiding behind a mirror

I think about four men
serial monogamy
over fifteen years
a year break after each

a mirror reflects
a man’s own anima: his ideal woman

all four so different
yet there is a thread that binds
trauma like my trauma
and closer and closer to an opposite

I do not want to be a mirror
any more

the connection of the damaged child
I tried so very hard not to trigger
until the mirror broke
I hold pieces up in my bleeding hands

they leave when the mirror breaks
now I understand

this time was hardest and least hard
at the same time
I could almost see what was happening
almost

and now I can see
and break the pattern with the mirror

my friend says
why don’t you let them see
who you really are?
they would never have let me work

I had to wear the doctor mask
even with other doctors

the nurses and the staff saw through it
right away
they’d call me for patient needs
and knew I’d answer

did I have to wear the doctor mask
or did I wear it to feel safe?

water over the dam
but it’s time to take down the dam
and be myself
and not a mirror

I didn’t know this quiet woman is me

_________________________

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: ART!

Red and yellow ribbons

We are half way through the Great Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Sculpture Race.

https://ptkineticrace.org/2022-annual-art-kontest-and-parade

Yesterday was the Parade and the Brake Test and the Bribing of Judges and the Going Full Speed No Brakes into Port Townsend Bay and then paddling or floating or somehow getting out. And the glorious Kinetic Ball and Krowning of the Kween!

Today, so many more events! The race up the winding hill and then the Mud Bog at the fair grounds! The Teddy Bear trebuchet! More Bribes! And the coveted “most mediocre” award!

Blessings on all the Kinetic Kops for keeping everyone from being run over and for everyone who contributed! The Chimacum High School Marching Band and the Unexpected Brass Band added to the festivities!

For the Ragtag Daily Prompts: ribbon and red and yellow.

Lit

My friend Maline Robinson is an artist, paintings and silk screens. This one fits today’s “luminous” prompt, pale lit color and layers and texture.

Meanwhile my brain starts playing one of our choral pieces: Luminous night of the soul. It builds and builds, layers of sound and complexity. Here is another group doing the piece:

For today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt: luminous.

abstract

This is a cell phone snap from a few days. It reminds me of Jackson Pollock’s paintings, all the complex colors and layers.

The tide was way way way out and it’s a snap of the green layer on the beach. Gorgeous. The beaches here are an endless wonder.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: wonder.

Family

The photograph is from left to right, my sister Christine Robbins Ottaway, my (sort of but not blood) cousin Katy, and me. This is a fourth of July. We wanted to DO something. We were at my maternal grandparents’ in Trumansburg, New York. My mother suggested that we dress up and do a presentation. We wore her 1950s prom dresses, held a small parade involving three dogs and a cat who were also in costume, and read the Declaration of Independance and the Preamble to the Constitution to a group of adults in lawn chairs. This was in lieu of fireworks. We had fun but we still missed fireworks.

I am thinking about asking. I could not ask my mother for specific things I wanted as a child. She would get me a different and cheaper alternative. If I was disappointed, I would be guilt tripped or humiliated. I did not ask my father for things either. He would make and break promises, too sick from alcohol or he would have forgotten. I stopped asking because I did not like being disappointed and I did not like being shamed. Once I really really wanted something for Christmas. My sister and I made a quiet deal, showing each other exactly which toy we longed for. Then we each shopped with our mother and insisted on the toy the other wanted. Our mother did try to talk each of us out of the toy. We had arranged it so that we were spending the same amount of money: $20. She thought that was outrageous and that something cheaper would do just as well. We both stood our ground on the other’s behalf and then open the presents on Christmas day with faked surprise and real joy. We did NOT tell our mother.

On an earlier Christmas I sewed my sister a toy stuffed snake. My mother was discouraging, but she let me have cloth and needle and thread. “Why do you want to make her a snake? A snake?” I couldn’t really explain well. We had gone to a county fair and my sister and I both longed for the velvet snakes, six feet long and deep red. The snake I made for my sister was only a foot and a half long and I had flowered fabric, not velvet. I coiled it in a circle and wrapped it. My sister was delighted with it and held it all Christmas morning. My mother just shook her head. “A snake.” she muttered.

The things that I could ask for were books and music. I was the kid that the teacher would hand the scholastic book box to after she handed out one or two books to the other kids. I would order 20 books. My father said I could have as many as I wanted as long as I read them all. The only books I avoided were about television or movies. I loved a non fiction book about WWI Flying Aces. The technology of the airplanes and the problem of bullets ricocheting off the propeller were amazing. I also liked that it talked about the ACEs on both sides: German, English, French, American.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: ask.

I don’t know who took the photograph. I think it was one of my grandparents. Oh, I think “cousin” Adam is in the picture too, though he is nearly hidden behind the flag.

spring fur

A friend has a dog that sheds in the spring in great piles. On first glance the yard looks like rabbit murder, until you realize that it is dog fur.

And why would it be in my car? I’m not sure I want to say. It has something to do with rocks and eggshells and feathers and a project that is forming in my mind.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: allergy.