I think of you as dead

I think of you as dead.
Love is not dead, not mine for you.
This is not respectful to those
truly dead. Yet you are dead to me
in that you lie and say forever.
Torched and ashes, now it’s never
and the real you is dead to me.
I love the you that made a different choice,
that loved me back. He holds my hand
and walks with me and laughs with me
daily. And there is nothing you can do
to stop him and me. If anyone asks, you are dead
to me, dead forever, and I will love
whoever my heart chooses, for all time.

________________________________

I found the chalcedony nodule on Indian Island yesterday.

Deleting spam

I still think of you occasionally
when I pay the bills, I think of you
when I clean the catbox, I think of you
when I clear the spam, I think of you
it’s the Get’a’super-sized’rod’ ones
that make me think of you and laugh
I want to send them to you every time
I still think of you occasionally
Get’a’super-sized’rod’ and poo and bills

Caramel

Warm and tan and sweet

but you don’t like sticky, heh.

I buy gummi bears and forget to bring them
over and over for months
forget to bring them to the beach.
When you teach me
how to find chalcedony nodules
clear agates that let the light through,
you say, “They look like gummi bears,”
and you are right.

In the early morning when the tide is low
and the sun is low too
angled and polarized light
the nodules, agates we call them
light up like stars, catching the sun.
Sometimes I see one just after you
and you are diving down to get it
and I am too late again

You find three to my one
The gummi bears are a bit hard
when I finally bring them along
I choose a red one, the small kind
tuck it between two fingers
when you aren’t looking
I’ve gotten my fingers a little wet first
so it will light up
the same way as the agates
I wait until we’re a yard apart
and you aren’t looking at me.
I jump forward and reach for the sand
“Look at this one! So red!”
You move towards me and I flash it.
“Almost bear shaped!” I say
and drop it in your hand.
Your face changes from envious
of the clear red to mildly horrified:
“Sticky!” you say, and shake it off your hand.
I laugh and pop a yellow gummi bear in my mouth
and you are laughing too
and shake your head.
“I don’t want one!”
“Got you!” I say.
“Yes,” you say, “You did.”

____________________

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: caramel.

Sterling

Mary and Nissa are at the fundraiser. Only $100 each!

“I am the man for the job,” says Joe. He is elegant in a suit and tie and crisp white shirt. “I don’t lie. I don’t break laws. I don’t even speed! I am a man of sterling character!”

Mary and Nissa enjoy the fundraiser very much. Nissa is driving Mary home afterwards.

“He’s so wonderful! And that meal! Did you see all the silver? He is the man for the job!”

Nissa turns the car into Mary’s driveway. She turns the car off and looks at Mary.

“What?” says Mary.

Nissa pulls a spoon out of her pocket.

“You stole a silver spoon?” says Mary, appalled.

Nissa breaks it in half. It splinters.

“Wood. With silver paint. Don’t be fooled, Mary.” Nissa hands Mary the two wooden halves and Mary stares at them. Nissa gets out to help Mary in to the house.

After she is situated, walker within reach, Mary says, “I may rethink that donation I was going to make. Thank you for coming with me, Nissa.”

Nissa smiles. “You are welcome. Thank you for taking me.”

__________________________

The woman in the picture is new to my home. She has a tag that reads “Chubby Purple Mama”. She was made by an artist in town, Karen Renee Page, who died in September. Many dolls were given for a fundraiser. This doll has crystals and a piece of wood in her belly. Without them she is not balanced. I added one of the chalcedony nodules that I find here on the beach.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: sterling.

cliffs down

I took a wonderful beach walk, 3-4 miles, yesterday.

The annoying thing was that my muscles are still grumpy. I took a nap afterwards and they STILL wanted me to go to sleep at 5 pm. I made it to 6, barely.

That was the pattern I noticed when I was finishing pulmonary rehab. On the exercise days and the day after, I would sleep for twelve hours. I would have a nap and then sleep for another 8-10 hours at night. Muscle repair and ME-CFS, but still, mine is mild. I don’t have to lie in bed 23 hours a day. I am very very happy about that.

That is a tree, dead, in the first picture. Sections of cliff collapse. I always worry that I will see feet sticking out, as in the Wizard of Oz. A friend saw a whole section come down and said if he’d been 30 yards further down the beach, he would have been under it. It is sand and clay. Here is a close up of a small chunk of clay.

Here is a big section that has fallen, trees and all.

And here is a tree only part way down. I am careful on the beach, but I think sections can fall with no warning! And I worry when I see children or adults climbing partway up the cliffs. Not me.

trauma bunnies

We can work it out, the song says. But no, maybe not, not always.

Trauma bunnies together. Walking. Why would you walk with me, I am so down? Oh, you are a trauma bunny too. Walking on the beach, slowing down, looking at rocks. The walks get longer and longer. You bring FOOD and tell me I have food insecurity. I laugh. But it is true.

Comparing notes about childhood. You say yours was worse. Yours was terrifying. You ran away over and over and over, but came home. Small children need food and shelter. You get older. A neighbor says if you run away now, you will never stop running. You do not run away permanently. But you still run.

My childhood has no bruises to the skin. But the bruises to the heart are a nightmare. You finally say that I win, my childhood was worse. But I was not trying to win, I want to say. I was just telling you as you’ve told me.

We have both survived damage and coped. I have the resource of a grandmother with money who paid for medical school. I apply without telling my parents, after my mother says, “You don’t want to be a doctor. It’s too much work.” I am a poet, a writer, being a doctor so I can study people and have children and be certain there is food. Job security. And food security, true. With a husband or without.

You fight school all the way, but when you are told that you will be a failure or in jail, you decide that you will prove them wrong. You are still proving it. You won’t tell how you make your money, not to the locals, but the new car every two years tells them you have money. And it’s the wrong kind of car: a liberal car for a professed conservative. It stands out.

We start playing trauma bunnies after six months. You want me to come to dinner and I turn New Yorker and direct: is this a date? You are surprised. I set the boundaries and you think about it. And say yes.

But trauma bunnies is not as much fun as the beach. We get close and intimate and then you run. When you run, I run too: the other way. I don’t chase you. You haven’t experienced that before. You keep coming back. Why aren’t I chasing you? Because I too am a trauma bunny, remember?

Back and forth: close and far, together and apart. All holidays become times when you run, so that I will not be part of the family. I announce that I am now your mistress and you can’t be with my family either. Back and forth. Closer and then you refuse to come to my son’s wedding. Far again.

You say the summer will be very busy. You say your focus is music. You say we can go to one beach. One beach? For the whole summer? I run to europe and you are surprised. I ask, are you too busy to have me around? No, you say. But when I return, you have a friend staying with you. Intimacy disappears.

I am tired of it. My daughter is here.

At last I bring up sex: are we done with that?

No, you say. We have visitors.

Wouldn’t stop me, I say.

You say, sex is still on the table. Then you hem and haw. You say sex is not important, you can take or leave it. The friendship is more important. Well, the friendship is most important, but sex IS important to me and hello, it’s damn insulting of you to say you can take or leave it. Leave. This is all triggered by your yearly family get together. You need me at a distance so you won’t be tempted to invite me. You don’t want me there so I am distanced again.

And I am done, done, done. I dream of a small child, a wild woman, a woman doctor and someone new: a quiet woman. I think about the quiet woman and I ask the other three. Yes, they say.

The quiet woman is the adult. Not the mask of the professional, not the wild defense fighter, not the small child. The small child has healed. She is the connection to the Beloved, to the source of the poems. She blesses the others. The quiet woman takes over.

The quiet woman takes over. She says goodbye, farewell, Beloved keep you and bless you, you may contact me any time.

You are in your cave alone and do not answer.

You may end up there, alone, alone, alone. You want freedom most of all, you say. Another song: freedom is another word.

Yes it is. People can change and grow. But some want to and some don’t and sometimes we don’t grow at the same time.

Yes, says the quiet woman. Sometimes we don’t grow at the same time.

Fade to quiet.

______________________________

I took the photograph from a canoe at Lake Matinenda in Ontario, Canada.

gently

I try to be so gentle with you
trauma drama boy

I know just what it’s like
though mine is not the same as yours

you run away, though
again and again

saying that you would never try
to hurt me ever

that is a shut down
really

since you disavow all intention of hurting
you do whatever you want

your attitude is that if I am hurt or sad
it’s my own fault

you take no responsibility for failures
as a friend

trauma drama boy, you run away
once more

and this time
I’ve had enough

This time
I let you go

Beloved bless you and keep you
for the days you have left

sending love
goodbye