Sharing Our Truths: Arrival of Spring – M.A. Morris

I am honored to be featured on BraveandReckless.com

Brave & Reckless

Spring arrived
Barely seen.
Our eyes turned inward.
Suspicious of air,
We could not take spring
Deeply into our lungs,
Feel the warmth of it on our skin,
Taste the freshness of it on our tongues
For fear.

We counted our first born
And tried prayer.
Had we forgotten the blood of the lamb
Above the lintel?

We sought protection in distance,
longing for human touch.
Hate and fear drained us.
We grew weary hearing–
Wash your hands
Don’t touch your face
Wash your hands
Prayed Mother Mary full of grace
Six to ten feet apart we must stand
We feared to touch
Our mothers
Our fathers
Our sisters
Our brothers
Our sons
Our daughters
And longed–
All the more–
For touch.

Yes, this will make us aware—
Appreciate what now
We could not do.
Yes, we would improve,
We would appreciate all.
Technology would see us through.

Somewhere in…

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My World

My world exists

In the dark chocolate lengths of her hair

In the arches of her eyebrows.

My world exists

In the shifting weather of her eyes

In the changing curves of her lips

In the small lifts of her chin.

My world exists

In the words she speaks

In the words she keeps inside her chest

In the words to which she listens

In the words she turns away.

My world exists

In the joyful moments of her heart

In the pain she covers within her skin

In the tiny gestures of her hands.

My world exists

In the land her feet touch

In the air she moves as she walks.

My world exists

In the world where she is.

My world began

When God gave her as a gift.

My world began

The moment

She was placed in my arms.

My world exists

In my daughter

As she walks

In the world.

The Blanket

Image courtesy of Elftown.com

Written in response to Sammiscribble.Wordpress.com Weekend Writing Prompt #154- Use the word “Fabric” and no more than 131 words

A tiny explosion within the diagnosis:

Stage 3C ovarian cancer,

Blasts a hole in our family fabric.

Threads of surgeries and chemo

Stitch it shut.

A hard-knotted mess left.

We live without holes a few months.

 

New scans, blood tests.

Cancer slices a nice size gash,

fraying at the edges.

More chemo knits shut our fabric, 

No longer perfect with knots, scarred seams,

But whole.

 

Six months,

A rending– bowel resection,

Rips– chemo for a bit,

You stopped, couldn’t do anymore.

The rips, the tears—too many

Too many damaged places to repair.

We learn to live with holes, rips

Fraying tears, worn places—

Until you are no longer there,

Until there is no us—but the child and me,

And no blanket left to cover

What was left of us.

 

The Perfect Legend

image courtesy of windowtoparadise.com

Written in response to Eugi’s Weekly Prompt-

“Legend”- April 20, 2020

The day you left,

You became a legend

In the child’s heart.

True, she was a woman/child

By that time, but you—

Dying too young,

You became a legend,

Crafted to perfection

In her child’s heart.

Her memory forging steel

Fiction tales of your deeds

With iron ore dust of truth.

And I became the villain,

Who had neither the words,

The charms, the incantations

For healing to whisper

Over your body,

Nor had I the spells

To cast so you would live.

Thus, I was guilty of crimes against

Humanity in the book where she kept

A record of all my misdeeds, sins, crimes.

And now, she is grown.

A woman now and she finds

I am just a little less guilty,

Not so much the criminal,

In the present.

But you,

You will always be

The perfect legend.

Drift, Taste, Memory

image by Ivy Schexnayder on Unsplash

Written in response to Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge on

https://godoggocafe.com/2020/04/21/tuesday-writing-prompt-challenge-tuesday-april-22-2020/comment-page-1/#comment-48478

I drift
Drift in purpose, direction,
Resolve in question.
Telling myself on repeat
I’ve no need, no want
Of soft skin against mine.
To feel another’s heart beat
Against my chest.
Though I remember,
Though I can still imagine,
When I close my eyes
What it is
To close my hand round the soft hand of another,
To fall asleep embracing—entwined, entangled,
To wake and smell sleep warmed skin,
To touch and take and give and kiss
Before coffee should touch my lips.
Such hunger is not a thing I allow myself to taste,
The risk too rich, too great to let it touch upon the tongue.
I am not young enough for a taste of what
Should bring me to my knees—
Of what I imagine
That she’d taste like memory.

The Rescue and The Lesson

Dedicated to all dogs suffering in puppy mills

 

I am lost as to what she thinks,
Looking at me with those eyes.
Imploring—
I know. I know–
Six years, she spent in hell.
24/7 in a jail.
I can never imagine.
Her legs carry scars
From the bars of her cell.
She wants to go outside, I think.
She wants to walk, to trot,
To breathe the freedom of the air.
But today’s weather—Chill, damp—
The kind neither of us really likes.
But she—she still wants to go—
Turn her nose up to the breeze,
Close her eyes, just sniff, smelling all
For a moment. Then speed on,
To revel in the movement
Of sinew and muscle and bone.                                                                                 I wonder if she ever remembers
Her many children, thinking
How many lived and how many died.
Is that why she whimpers at times
In her sleep?
Or is it nightmares of the pain,
Pain of caesarians without any anesthetic?
Did she suffer that horror?
Over those six years in hell
How many times was she sliced open
For her owner’s profit?
There is no way to know. No way to tell.
How many babies were ripped from her?
And then sold or forced into slavery
Such as she?
I cannot know, I cannot know.
She can never tell me. She can never show.
All I can see, all I can know
Is her joy in this moment,
A moment of playing or jauntily trotting down the street,
Smiling with happiness as she glances up at me.
All I know is what she has taught—
The heart is a house
With more rooms than you ever know,
And when you think you cannot,
For all the losses you have suffered and mourned,
You add an extra room
And so, grow.

The Quilt

Sown together,
A patchwork quilt,
Torn and worn
Through all the years.

Sew places torn.
Patch places worn.
Put away to be used again.
Soft and broken in.
But not much left
To cushion or to warm
Against the chill of autumn,
The cold of winter, or the setting sun.
Not much left to be any good at all.

You’d have to take it apart.
Re-stitch, re-sew, replace the batting,
Find new scrapes and cut to make the pieces fit.
Wouldn’t it be better to start from scratch
Than to try to re-make something so old, so worn, so weary?
Wearied from the years of sheltering breaking hearts,
Wearied from the years of taking tears,
Wearied of being tossed to the floor
When the needing time ended,
Wearied of being the place
Of softness
For everyone else,
But itself.

Early Morning Walk

Her Mona Lisa smile

Early mornings I walk my dog.

What a pair, what a sight we must make

in the early dawn light.

She, with her little legs flying,

her little French Bulldog smile–

Then me with my crazy, curly, too early,

morning hair and not enough coffee yet face.

As the cool sun, rising, greets

us with a loving grace,

no one would know

how my little dog schools me in life.

in her jaunty little prance,

in her little smiling face, looking up at me,

her joy, her pure delight

in the movement of her body,

in the scent of morning in the air,

in the gentle quiet of dawn upon us–

It is the moment,

Purely, simply–

The moment

Of being–

What’s in a Name?

I know it is no big deal to many of you who use your real names on your blogs. But I have used two pens names since starting this blog shortly after the death of my wife. I was still teaching, and my daughter was still in high school. Although the LGBTQ community has made great strides in being accepted by society, there is still prejudice. Being in education, I still had to be careful. Additionally, much of my writing comes from my experiences. Hence, some of my work centers on my daughter. Therefore, I wanted to protect her privacy as well. However now that I am retired and after lengthy consideration, I have decided to dispense with the pen names I have been using. I changed the domain name a few months ago when the old domain encountered issues with being shared on Facebook. I never did figure that problem out but changing the domain which included my real surname fixed the problem. I believe it was the April Writing Prompt Challenge—I am more than Breath and Bone– from Christine Ray, Brave and Reckless.com, that provided the impetus which spurred me to use my real name. What came out of me for that prompt was a recognition of what my mother and foremothers have done for and given me. I have tried to raise my daughter to be proud of herself, her family, and her two moms. If I hide behind a pen name, am I teaching her pride? Am I doing what my mother and foremothers have done for me? If I hide behind a pen name, am I “holding up the mountains” for her as was done for me? But I needed it to be okay with her. So, I asked her how she felt about it. What if her friends stumble across some of my work? What if they saw something that was about her? She responded with complete honesty and clarity, “Well, Mom. It’s your writing. If they do, they do.” So, with that, my name is Annette Kalandros, and I will be using my real name from this point forward.

The Nomad

Image from dreamtime.com

I have lived a nomad
Inside my own life.
I have wandered
From old homes
To new, attempting
Always to find a fit,
A place my tent could forever rest.
A time or two, maybe three,
I took rest in the heart of another,
Feeling blessed for a time of such
Delightful comfort,
Yet I’ve never found a place
to end my nomadic travels,
A ceaseless, endless
Restlessness.

Written as part of Sammiscribbles.wordpress.com writing prompt where one is given a word, in this case NOMAD, and must write a poem or short fiction piece in exactly 68 words.