This is too much work!
This is the last time
I’m doing this!
as she served us
a gorgeous Christmas dinner.
I was four years old.
I felt really sad,
wondering what future Christmases would be like
without Mom-Mom and her dinner.
Imagine my surprise when
the following year, like every other year before it,
she served us a beautiful Christmas dinner.
Today’s prompt asked us to take a familiar phrase and upend it. I had trouble with that, most probably because I began the poem when it was so late, and I am tired in every fiber of my being. But then the phrase, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” came to me. So maybe I can upend that.
When the stopping gets easy, the easy stop.
Yes, that about sums up the end of my marriage.
Today, it is easy to leave a marriage,
it’s easy to give up, to just stop.
It’s so common now, so normal,
that no one is ever really surprised by it.
But I was surprised.
I was surprised when he came to me
and announced he was done.
I wonder how many people
have gotten sick of hearing this story,
and I feel ashamed for telling it…again.
He wanted things to be easy,
he identified with easy.
So it was easy for him to stop, to just leave.
Meanwhile he stayed in our house
and I was a puddle on the floor.
I’m wondering how I’ll support my children.
There is nothing easy about the feelings I have
as I write about my fears,
but I guess that means I won’t stop.
I won’t give up.
I’m not an easy woman;
maybe that’s why he had to leave me.
And now that the going has gotten tough,
I suppose it’s time to get going.
I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be here.
The maple tree in the backyard. The patio out front
now devoid of furniture, because he took that too.
Tonight my children are gone, and I am alone,
to take in the noise of Timonium road
as I eat my bowl of cod and salad cold.
The wind is intense, immense, and I bring my journal
back inside. The wine glass is empty though, medicine
grown on the vine, distilled, and bottled beautifully,
shining pink in the glass in the early evening sunlight,
bright red maple blossoms being chomped by hungry squirrels;
I didn’t know they did that. I didn’t know a lot of things.
Today he had a new car; a 2016 BMW turbo diesel wagon,
silver, like the fully paid off 2009 Honda Insight he traded in
just two hours before. Unless I suddenly, and by suddenly,
I mean in the next few months, learn how to earn more money,
this house will go into foreclosure, a process that takes six months,
or so they say. In the meantime, what shape will my life take?
In the meantime, how will I measure my days, my schedule
so radically changed? The daffodils are blooming out front,
and some hyacinths, now in their third year,
looking quite sparse and scraggly as hyacinths do
when they are past their prime. Am I past mine too?
Grieving what once was,
my house a stranger to me,
I dream about love.
Today’s prompt suggested we try out a haibun, a poetic form of which I was completely ignorant until just a few minutes ago. I didn’t get too caught up on following the rules. I Just wrote, and I’m calling it a haibun, because, again, poetic license.
Hmmm…for some reason I keep hoping that these NaPoWriMo prompts will get easier, but they seem to be getting harder, perhaps because of what is happening in my external world. But anyway, here goes. Today’s prompt asked us to write a list of all of the identities with which we associate ourselves, and then divide that list in two more lists, one list of identities that make us feel powerful and another list of identities that make us feel vulnerable. Then we write a poem in which an identity from one list is speaking to, or contending with, or challenging an identity from the other list. What a head game. Luckily I’m always game to play in my head, so, let’s see what happens.
I wrote my list, and artist and critic were both there. I figure that this a great place to start.
Hey! Me here.
Who do you think you are
getting those art supplies out?
You aren’t any good
and no one cares what you
are trying to create.
Oh sweetie, there you go again.
Why do you think you need to be good?
This act of creation is just for you….
you don’t need to impress anyone else,
and especially yourself.
Drop the pressure and radiate your light.
Life is your work of art.
Let your genius shine.
You don’t have to try so hard, friend…
Just relax and let your genius shine.
I’m getting a late start to the NaPoWriMo prompts. You could say I’ve been bit distracted of late, you know, what with going through a messy divorce and my husband finally deciding to leave the house and everything. But, better late than never as they say. Today’s prompt is to write a list poem with names we’ve made up. Some examples given were band names, romance novel titles, and ideas for TV cop dramas. I’m going to try out names for unnameable mixtures of emotions that I’ve had to eat and eat and eat because that’s been my reality for nine months. Also, that I haven’t been able to eat much real food for months and that my weight has plummeted makes the food theme even more apropos…
What’s On the Menu
Guilt shame pain blame regret soup with caramelized judgment
Saving self saving grace saving kids special sauce
Resistance depression darkness divorcee’s doubt pudding
Extramarital affair discovery baked with ragey cagey compote
Humor relief lightness super crunchy trail mix
Wanting more wanting out always wanting fizzy punch
Revelation with a twist of salvation salad accompanied by a side of tangy WTF?
Blanket idealism ice cream and
unapologetically innocent optimism pie for dessert
Self-help book junkie dharma debt digestif—scorches and soothes simultaneously
and for the heartburn…
Rollercoaster searching spicy spiral spiritual medicine
in the form of pleasure pills, tranquility tea, and intuition injections.
Baby we ain’t got no brakes,
so buckle up and tie your napkin around your neck.
It arrives slowly,
so slowly I question
if what I’m feeling is real.
But then it begins to build
until the feeling is so present,
that I can no longer deny it.
It’s a mixture of hope, of lightness,
of real pleasure, joy, relief
that things are changing,
After this harrowing, hellish time,
I emerge from the cave
of the deepest, darkest sadness I have known.
I stand naked, blinking in the bright light,
an infant newly born
into the life I was meant to live…
When will it stop?
Angry. Hurt. Lonely.
Tired. Overwhelmed. Triggered.
He’s finally moving out,
wanting to sort through
our years of life together,
I’m on edge.
I’m a caged animal,
hot, blinded with rage,
teeth bared, screaming,
throwing myself against
the bars of the cage,
hurting from the impact.
My thoughts are the cage.
My pain is the animal.
But who am I?