Ants and Wedding Dresses

What was that?
Early morning waking and
spine still creeping with
crawling ants and a nice policeman
at the thickly padded door.

Waking and wondering at the man
inside her kitchen, doing dishes, who was he,
this blend of old and new,
she’d thought more of old until
that odd door swung open.

A clean house revealed, and
a beautiful red haired daughter
bounding down her stairs, this could
only be new, the trash and filth was behind
the old doors with her old men.

Clean now, but still the ants swarmed,
the policeman helpful as he pointed them out,
turning the south side of her house and fencing
into a river of bodies, compromising her thickly padded
and protecting front door.

Here, I’ll seal it for you, he said,
until you can get someone out here to
rid you of them, and he placed his policeman’s
tape around and across, bracing and barring
that old, odd, spaceship-like door.

She’d woken, shamed at the dirt that no longer existed,
somehow believing the policeman could see it still,
despite her new man helping wash it away, and she
was still mixing up old with new and learning a red haired
daughter was happier now that the door was taped.

Still, she woke confused with ants still crawling,
who was the man, was he her new?
Woke thinking of an earlier wedding dress conversation,
and his astonishment that she’d never worn one, despite
two marriages, despite two new doors.

She woke wondering if it were time for a third.

The Ward



I watch you all in the darkness, my own chest tight and uneasy.
In this cold, quiet space, with only whispers in the air.

My tasks to complete; every quarter of an hour,
yet there are no clocks here.

Asleep for now, are your demons resting?
Or does the torture continue as you lie?

Restlessly moving on your mattress on the box,
tall and wooden like a coffin.

In your rooms of nothing there is a window,
securely covered with thick metal mesh.

Even during day, like in your minds,
will the light have no chance to enter?

I’m sorry I have to be here, to watch you as you sleep,
This should be private; it’s indecent of me, rude even.

Please understand my intentions are good,
and I am here to keep you safe.

If only but from yourselves.

And Death Spoke



The big grey building changes the landscape as I look
across the horizon toward the north.
In the sky the clouds appear as a fuzzy
blanket of dark moving toward the west.
Supposedly it rains, for I can see drops
in the puddles, though feel nothing hitting my face.

The air is a chilly soul today, or so it feels to me.
I’m shivery and shaky, and appear the only one affected.
The figures around walk leisurely and seem in no hurry
to escape the elements as I am. But then I always hurry.
The others content themselves with life and enjoy it
while I am always running after it-after something to enjoy.

This flash of self-awareness reveals itself while the wind
blows across the parking lot in front of the big grey building.
While the raindrops are splashing up the puddles, and not landing on
me and the cold air is chilling only me-I have these thoughts-that
maybe Death was right and I should take heed.

And slow the hell down.

I cross to the door, seeking the warmth promised by the yellow
lights. But the feeling that I could have stood in that parking
lot-smack in the middle of it, breathing the fibers of that dark
blanket sky-that I could remain there until dark fell, and not be
harmed by passing cars and wandering people-left me colder
even than that rain I could not feel.

Maybe to me slow means invisible.
If I am not in a hurry, what am I?
Death is not always right.

I turn and run-away from that big grey building where
the drops of rain that I can’t feel bounce in the puddles-away
and through the air’s chilly soul, surrounded by the sky’s fuzzy
dark blanket-I run.

And I am hurry, hurry, hurrying once more-after life,
after something to enjoy and I wonder to myself as I wrap
my arms about me for warmth-I wonder if I find it, will
I be too hurried to notice?

And so I wait for Death to speak again.

And hope I can hear over the pounding of my feet on asphalt-
through the knee-knocking and teeth chattering cold-blanket sky.



Kindness took the watch with no hands,
then lent it her own, strong and
filled with love and patience.

Hope took the Cheshire cat with no smile,
gave up her lips full and teeth
bright with night’s starlight.

Compassion took the broken body with no bones,
built it up with her mighty deeds and
errands run with no pain.

Faith took the severed heart with no love,
stitched it up with the silver threads
of her never ending joy and expectation.

Strength took the flame with no heat,
and bestowed upon it her sparks
of belief and higher power enduring.

Too Busy


I grin, because I know that it’s over and I grin,
and I look myself in the face, in the mirror,
and I grin because it’s over

but feel guilty because what’s over is the kids,
and the husband,
and they don’t need you anymore,

and you feel free

and guilty because you missed it,
you missed the very essence of what is important,
and now it’s gone

and no way will it ever come back

and you missed it

while working
and protecting
and putting on the facade
that everything was fine

you missed all that was not fine,
all that had to be worked,
and all that had to be molded,
shaped into life’s reality

you missed it

too busy surviving

too busy monitoring

too busy wishing

too busy dreaming

so that you missed it,
right under your face,
the growing up,

too busy surviving

Now wear that grin,
of shame.



photo credit “The Nightmare” Henry Fuseli

As I move about this space, in this time,
in my part of this world that belongs to me,
on this day,
I offer no excuse.

As I attempt my daily tasks, do my deeds,
walk in the where I need to be,
on this day,
I offer no excuse.

As I send my children off into the air, to do their work,
share their lives and think their thoughts,
on this day,
I offer no excuse.

As I dream my wants, aspire to my purpose,
write my words and share my soul,
on this day,
I offer no excuse.

and with respect,
on this day,
I offer no excuse.