low dudgeon

I think of how you treat me with low dudgeon.
Rarely and when fatigued I think of you.
You hide away, a hermit like curmudgeon
pusillanimous liar, unfaithful and untrue.
We share a childhood full of trauma
I work hard to heal from all the strife
but you choose to elevate the drama
and excise protestations from your life.
I ask Beloved what I am assigned to do.
You don’t believe in angels nor in me.
The mystery of angels leads me here to you;
like a bear you hide up in the trees.
I find the change the loved Beloved grants.
You refusing change, I ban you from my pants.

_________________

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: dudgeon.

Ogre

I am now a full grown Ogre

We mature at a different rate
than you humans
I don’t really pass as human
but since I am 5’4″
no one guesses I’m an ogre

I have been an Ogre since
before birth
my mother ill
attacked by antibodies in the womb
luckily the illness does not cross
the barrier of the mixed mother daughter
the placenta
but the antibodies do cross

I am born with my immune system
red hot and ready to fight

my maternal grandmother is an Ogre too
she cares for me while my mother heals
you are right to refuse help she says
you may feed yourself
and she lets me
I am four months

Two grrl cousins are also stressed from birth
one arrives early and survives
smallest child to live in that city
all they have for premies is a warm box
her parents are warned
she might be slow

the other is born in Bangladesh
mother very ill
mother damaged by illness
she survives too

three Ogres?
No
different mitochondria
from three different mothers different immune systems different parents

Ogre, dark angel, and martyr

And the others wonder why we fight

A woman says “I like you when you’re well.”
to me when I am sick
and my partner disappears
he says, “I can’t have a disabled partner.”
I snarl, “I am not disabled.
I am just on oxygen.”
But it is not true
I am disabled
And very annoyed

I avoid the woman for a year
and think about it
I am never “well”
if it’s an antibody disorder
and if I got it in the womb
what would I be like if I did not have it?
no one knows
and I don’t either

So I have done well
in the end
to survive a chronic illness since before birth

Ogres take longer to mature
but once we do
we are hell on wheels

And at last I accept it

I am happy being an Ogre
and I will be the best Ogre I can

And it will be fun
At least, for me

Who snew?

Who snew the snow was falling deep
with votes to vote before we sleep
we’ll march for miles with votes to keep
breach of promise makes us weep

I go pogo Hellno no no
who snew the snow won’t make school no go
cold students trudge to bus oh so slow
school on a snow day sorrow blow woe

who snew the temperature would snow melt?
icy drips and drops from trees pelt
my cat on leash slips grumpy fur felt
my vote is cast against gilt hair hell bent

Who snew that science snews would soon die?
fentenyl kills like a drive by
kills more than heroin or meth, oh my my
science silenced while liars cry die

Who hopes for sanity not war?
who casts a vote to help the poor?
who snows the prophets words once more
are used to profit from human gore

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!

My mom loved me

I struggled after my mother died of ovarian cancer in 2000. She was 61 and our love was complicated. Two years after she died I hit an emotional wall and had to go find help. My marriage was showing cracks too. I have written about Adverse Childhood Experiences, but there can be love too, even in a difficult household. I wrote this poem during that time.

My mom loved me

It’s herself she didn’t love
She didn’t love her anger
She didn’t love her fear
She didn’t love her sorrow
She didn’t love her shadows

She packed all her troubles in her saddlebags
and rode forth singing

When I was angry
she felt her anger
When I was scared
she felt her fear
When I was sad
she felt her sorrow
When I felt my shadows
she felt hers
I hid my shadows

I hid my shadows for many years
and then my saddlebags were full
They called me

I dove in the sea
I rescued my anger
I rescued my fear
I rescued my sorrows
I rescued my shadows

At first I couldn’t love them
My mom didn’t; how could I?

But I loved my mom
I loved all of her
Her anger
Her fear
Her sorrow
Her shadows
Her singing and courage

I thought if I could love her shadows
I could love my own

It was hard
It took months
I looked in the mirror at my own face
And slowly I was able to have
Compassion for myself

I am sad that my mom is not
where I can touch her warmth
and tell her I love all of her

I tell her anyway

I’m finding many things as I surface from my dive
Sometimes I feel the presence of angels
I was looking for something else
I found a valentine
that she made me
No date
Many hearts cut out and glued
to red paper

I am so surprised

My mom loves me
shadows and all
now and forever.

__________________________

My mother used to quote “Pack all your troubles in your saddlebags and ride forth singing.” Does anyone know where this if from? I have not found the source. It could be her mother or her mother’s parents.

The photograph is my father, the year my sister died of cancer, 2012. He died in 2013.

only when I’m hungry (2)

sometimes I still miss you
but only when I’m hungry

sometimes I wish I had gone slower

sometimes I wish I had waited
I wish I hadn’t rushed

sometimes I wish I had just tasted you
waited
saved you
no biting

but you tasted so delicious
I couldn’t wait
I tore into you
I didn’t want to wait
or share you
you were all mine

sometimes I still miss you
but only when I’m hungry

there is always someone else
even if they aren’t
as delicious
as you

(You always know) post trauma

You always know

You always know
when I am afraid
when I am running
when I am hiding
how afraid I am

when I keep secrets

You always know
so far
when I am triggered and terrified
and hiding and broken
and pretending to be ok

so far
you respond
and are gentle
draw me out
offer food
and company

You always know
so far
and I am still afraid
and I am still planning
and this is what I am hiding
the plan for what I will do

What I will do
when you know
you always know
when you know
but you don’t
respond

when you don’t respond
and aren’t gentle
don’t draw me out
don’t offer food
or company

You always know
so far

But I feel safer
if I don’t
trust

11/28/21

shut

I was keeping the door cracked, hoping a friend would come back
but it’s too painful to hope all the time, a constant heart attack
I slammed doors and windows this morning, took my heart out of hock
If you want to see me again, you can damn well knock!

_______________________

Four flocks of geese flew over on the beach a couple days ago, heading south. It always makes me want to travel too! And one of my trees is shedding leaves already, yellow and all over. Fall is on its way.

crack

even stone can crack
under great pressure
under great heat
under great force
under water

water?

yes, water
water wearing the surface
water rolling the rocks against each other
water wearing the cliffs and the trees fall down

even stone can crack
under great pressure
under great heat
under great force
under water

___________________

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: crack.

sorrow

Most of the time I am fine (I miss you I miss you I miss you).
I am busy during the day (You said I needed my own life).
What shut you down, I wonder (the family event).
You said I always try to learn daily (you say you refuse to change).
I have friends that love me and my kids (you say you do not love me).
I don’t think I know what love is (your actions felt like love sometimes).
Mostly I don’t think about you (sometimes it is very dark).
I hope that you are well (I wish I wanted you to be happy without me).
I am patching my heart again (for you I use elk sinew).
The deer remind me (life goes on, even when one doesn’t want it to).

A previous poem, when my sister died: The deer remind me.