#Micropoetry Monday: Adult Children

Mom and Dad.JPG

She’d imagined future memories
of taking care of them someday,
for they had taken care of her.
Though her child had made her
want to better herself,
Mom & Dad had made her
into a person who could.

Dad gave me strength,
but Mom gave me resilience
so that I was unbreakable.

As a little girl,
she had looked back
to see her mom,
looking back at her.
As an adult,
it was not behind her,
but above her,
that she looked—
whenever she shared a memory of her
with her own child,
whenever she spoke to the stone
that bore her name like a commandment,
whenever she made Dad proud.
If you weren’t really an adult
till your parents were gone,
she would be happy to be
a child forever.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

The foundation of our existence shook, the pillars & posts of transparency tumbled around me.  I picked up a brick, wanting to hurl it like a weapon, only to find that it had turned to sand.  

I knew it was required that she seek my forgiveness before God’s.  I also knew God would forgive whosoever He chose to forgive, but that I was required to forgive all. 

David’s money had kept my father alive, tethering my mother to the man who stood in their way, or rather, hovered between them.

My mother had lived a life of convenience, of self-flagellation by denying herself the sanctity of marriage but not of the marriage bed.  Just as she had wanted to do away with Caitlin, she was now going to do away with my father.

She had never annulled the marriage, for she could not make her children bastards as legitimate children were considered status symbols–just as Mother had chosen the label of widow over adulteress.

She’d convinced herself that because he was brain-dead, his soul had gone on, just as she’d taught her girls that unChristian women, to soothe their consciences, had convinced themselves that unborn babies were nothing but a clump of cells when wasn’t that what we all were–just many more of them.

I grieved for the father who had never been lost to me at all—the father I was just now finding, only to lose him all over again.

#Micropoetry Monday: Anti-Love Story

Lily

He was the 30-second man
when it came to the bedroom;
she, the 30-minute (or less) meal woman–
at least when it came to the kitchen
(so long as it was someone else’s).
Yet somehow the kids not only got conceived but fed,
for it was all in (a percentage of) a day’s work.

Life with him was a monologue–
his monologue–
& she was his captive,
if not captivated,
audience.
He was a one-man show,
playing the same role
year after year:
Death of a Mailman.
His lamentations were the worst kind of junk mail,
for they couldn’t just be tossed in the rubbish.
How she wanted to stamp him out
& send him packing via airmail.
Drinking was the only thing that kept her
from going postal,
but when she’d finally had her fill,
she left him for a man of much fewer words,
only for him to leave her,
having had his fill of listening to her tell him
about the windbag she’d ditched.

He’d dreamed of Jennie—
all those years in the camp.
Hoping to see her beautiful face again
was what had kept him going,
but when he was released
& saw that her outward appearance
had changed,
he realized he hadn’t loved her,
but only the memory of the image
that had once made her career.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

My father’s life had been artificially prolonged, trapping my mother in marriage, so that what God had joined together, science had solidified.

Mother hadn’t divorced my father nor annulled the marriage, for she hadn’t wanted to make her children bastards.

My father’s death would legitimize everything, including my mother’s relationship with David. My father had been hovering in the wings, while David had been waiting in them.

Mother sought my absolution in one night, for a lifetime of lies. David had already granted her this thing, even as she continued to perpetuate the lie.

Mother had wanted him to live so he wouldn’t die spiritually–for the sake of her own conscience.

She had bled from every pore, for I knew she had believed that to let Patrick die after a suicide attempt would be to send his soul straight to Hell–an unpardonable sin in the Catholic Church.

How could any mortal be responsible for the destination of an individual’s soul, for wouldn’t that put them on par with God?

Mother had become as God, or Goddess, in a way, for even as she had resurrected Patrick from the dead, at least in my eyes, she was now taking away his last breath of life.

The plan was for David to do Patrick’s work in the temple, turning his enemy into his savior.

Mother believed Patrick would go to middle heaven, the terrestrial, where he would be one of the angels, never to have sex again.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #501: (Body of Water)

Water

Bathtub Blues

Beach toys like islands floating belly-up
in dissipating lavender bubbles,

littered with orange string
pulled from ratty washcloths;
clumps of toilet paper like flotsam,
cloudy, with a chance of clogging,
vaguely resembling oysters,

contaminate the soapy water.
Wet floor, dirty bath, clean shower.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 501

#Micropoetry Monday: Hymns of Motherhood

Mother and child

Like the shadow of the blind,
she was with me 90 days
without my knowing—
the closest thing to God some people would
ever know.
I was her second set of footprints,
for it was I
who carried her.

She didn’t know if her daughter understood all the words,
but she read them anyway.
She didn’t know if her daughter would remember
all those trips to the pool & the beach
& every other space that screamed barefoot fun,
but she took her anyway.
She didn’t know if her daughter always heard her say,
“I love you,” after she’d fallen asleep to a lullaby,
but she said it anyway,
for it was a mom’s instinct
to do good by & for their children,
not always knowing
the good it did.

“Breast is best,” they said,
but the best could not express itself.
She pumped herself sore,
for she feared for her child’s I.Q.,
her health,
& everything they said her magic milk
was supposed to do.

#Micropoetry Monday: Reinvention

Spring Break 2017
When she went from a little black dress
to a big white dress
(or off-white, to keep it real),
she’d thought her life had been put on hold,
but she would come to learn
that love was not a barrier,
for the more,
the merrier.

Her life was in a rut,
so she began to turn left instead of right,
jumped up instead of forward,
writing vertically & counting backward.
She looked at people & away from things—
behind & beside them,
as well as directly.
Her perspective of the world changed
from changing her position in it,
& she learned that part of life was knowing
where to put the period &
where to put the ellipsis.

She’d traded in 3 jobs for 1,
the status of student for graduate,
the role of homemaker to bacon bringer.
She didn’t have it all,
but she had more than enough,
& what she didn’t have,
she gave to herself
in the stories she wrote.