the bacon burning

She’s listening to the radio
while cooking

her mother would say with half an ear

rape victims
if they had done something different
not THAT dress
not that date
too many drinks
did she flirt?
THAT college has statistics
would not have happened
if if if

she is holding a spatula

riding the school bus
age 7, second grade
look at the other kids
the only girl
who is not a virgin
played with
the high school senior next door
she loved when he would push the swing
trade: lie down here
I won’t hurt you
she got scared “stop” ran
asked her mother what it meant
when boys
worries until the doctor
surely the doctor
would notice if she is pregnant
her sister is four
never ever go near
the boy next door
her sister cries
she keeps an eye on her
she’s different now from other girls
should have known
never speak to him again

the bacon burning on the stove
cry, throw the bacon out

radio: violence
is never acceptable
it is not the woman’s fault

nor the child’s

 

previously published on everthing2.com in 2010

Yes, that is a house burning down. The owner and cats got out. Barely.

 

 

release

For the Photo Challenge: layered. And today’s poem.

 

release

I can’t do it, Beloved

or no
I don’t know how, Beloved

release old grief, I am told

I am to have the intention daily
to release old grief

it sits in my throat
aching lump, knot, old
I don’t know how old
is it from before birth
I haven’t looked up whether antibodies
to tuberculosis
cross the placenta
attacking

Kell kills
that is one of the antibodies
that can kill a fetus

I have the grief
a tiger by the tail

at first I was afraid
that releasing it would lose
some core part of myself
that the me I have built
is the nacre, a pearl
wrapped around a core of grief

but Beloved
I try to listen
I try so hard to listen
to have faith
why pay for help
without attempting to follow
the ideas
unless they are so clearly wrong

conversation
with myself
the past the woman the girl the child the fetus
let the grief go
gently

Beloved
maybe I am not gentle enough
full speed ahead
maybe I need to cradle the grief more
rock it, comfort it, thank it
grief, you protected me so much
from the patterns in the family

Beloved
maybe I need to thank the grief
before I let it go

 

I am sorry about the wings

I am sorry about the wings

During the massage today
my poor back aches so
where my wings should be

Guilt

If the Beloved gives me wings
I should fly

but I would rather be in the water
I feel so much safer here

and then I think
maybe I should stop
jumping off of cliffs…..

I should stop jumping off of cliffs….

I follow that thought
I should stay in the water
keep my tail and scales

I have come out so many times

lately only for you

you will not come in the water

you don’t want to hear me sing

you want me to be silent and listen

you want me to agree about the past

and collapse

I say here

here is the future

I can see it
and you don’t answer

you don’t listen
when I return to the sea

you call me
and you come to the edge of the sea
to call me
but you won’t come in

I have come out to you
on those painful legs
for which I sacrifice my voice

you would have scales and a tail
if you came to me
come to the future with me

we will meet at the edge of the sea
me in the sea
you on the beach
and talk

but this is goodbye
I won’t come out again

and I say to the Beloved
I am sorry about the wings
I will use the wings

my back was so sore
where the wings were

the wings are back

I still have my scales and tail

I rise to the surface of the sea
I spread my wings
scales, tail and wings

I begin

now I will fly

8/3/16

Another fog photograph from last Saturday. Why don’t we spell it phog?

flooded

I wrote this after the tsunami in Japan. I was thinking about PTSD and triggers and being overwhelmed. And the flooding now in Texas….

Flooded

I cry because
the laundry overflowed
the sewer blocked again
we might have to pull up the floor
and lay it down a third time
I hate the laundromat
water runs across the floor
as fast as the tsunami
crossing the fields
crushing the houses
catching the trucks
in Japan

I cry because
I have to ask for help again
Help comes
but the memories of asking
when it didn’t
help didn’t come
and I was abandoned or humiliated
rise up and overwhelm me
I am flooded
I am helpless
someone help those people
The shaking earth is bad enough
But the ocean rolling inland
Over all
Breaking all
Beams to toothpicks
Those are the memories that rise up
And flood me
I think of the soldiers
and victims of wars and disasters
and PTSD
tsunami
of memory

 

previously published on everything2.com

For the Daily Prompt: memorize. In PTSD, the memories are not what people want to memorize.

music  Randy Newman Louisiana 1927

 

I miss your skin

I miss your skin

the planes of shoulder blades
layers of muscle overlying them
the trapezius sweeping up to the base of the skull
and down to the tenth vertebrae
like a wing pointed inwards
on your back
and attached to bones

more and more in clinic
I pull out Netter’s beautiful drawings
and show people the bones
and that the bones are not just floating
in a sea of muscle and organs
every bone is attached to muscles
to tendons to ligaments
together in an elaborate
beautiful
working system
and if one muscle is torn too loose
or tightens to protect itself
and heals scarred calcified
too short
it pulls on the other muscles
and tendons and bones

I miss your skin
your muscle
your tendons
your ligaments
your bones

and all the rest

 

I took the photograph in the boatyard in 2016. Sometimes I dream I have feathers….

 

 

art and horses

I refuse to take the arrows
refuse to step on the hawser
say yes to Artemis
but by building her a statue
not taking on her role

I am a mere human
not a goddess

Hestia interests me
at first she does not appeal
home fires burn
my home is messy and creative
which is an excuse
to keep people out
only a few people
a select few
may enter

horse because hest
in Danish is horse
but this is Greek
but I play with words
women are the draft horses of the home

I have avoided that
by marrying a house husband
who agreed to stay home
until the kids were old enough
and then to work

he lied

I am not sorry

he’s working now

with my daughter launched
last child
what next?

I see singles
forming couples
marrying and divorcing

Beloved
I love you first
writing poetry
and medicine

and who is my muse?
I am female
and we have none

Gods and Goddesses
alike
I do not want to be held
to one
dedicated
to one

Beloved
you are all
you are one

you are my muse

My daughter looks so comfortable, doesn’t she? She looks as if she is standing quiet.

But I took that with a zoom lens. Really, she is here:

matinenda 2 049

say yes