Stolen Words – Annette Kalandros

I am honored to be featured on braveandrecklessblog.com

Brave & Reckless

The tinge of sadness in your words

Told me you had stolenthese words

From another to whom you had

Given them then turned and gifted them

To me, and I—I pretended you had

Freshly written such lovely words for me,

Letting the ink of your stolen words

Blanket me, comfort me with something

I needed to feel— if only for a time—

The street huckster wraps her wares

In three day old newspapers to cushion

Them from breakage

And once home, I peeled the molding

Paper off my skin to find it stained

With the cheap ink of your stolen words

Soap, hot water, and good scrubbing

Wore all the stains away.

My skin refreshed and oiled,

I sigh heavily with pitynow

For you mustnot feel

Anything much that is real

Who must constantly steal

And steal away again your now

Cheapened wordsto give to one

And then another and…

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The Gift of Mercy

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The jigsaw puzzle of mercy

fell to pieces today.

 

The dogs saw it crumble,

alerting me before I could

gather, prepare, ready–

anything—

For this, this seeming simple thing.

 

The dogs ran, back hair bristled—

I ran after,

yelling, yanked their collars—

the dogs listened, stood back, panting.

All the construction of houses around us stopped

it seemed for a moment—

for a moment only us—

the four of us—

my two dogs, one on each side of me,

standing back, as they’d been told,

me, and the small bird now in my hands.

 

I had not stopped to grab anything—

no gloves, no towel—

had not thought of viruses, bacteria—

this bird was still alive—

limp, though nothing seemed broken,

yet its eyes wild.

I held it lightly,

thinking it stunned

it would surely fly off—

just stunned is all–I thought—

just a moment,

give it a moment, it would fly.

It had to fly.

By God, this ordinary grayish brown bird,

shaking, breathing hard in my hands, had to fly.

The bird closed its eyes—

It would not fly—

I knew it then—

 

I would have to gift it– mercy,

and so did what needed done—

Broke its neck in two.

 

No. No. It doesn’t help to know

I put an end to its suffering.

 

But I learned mercy makes for easy talk,

yet it is a suffering thing to do.

 

accidental tourist – Annette Kalandros

I am honored to be featured on BraveandRecklessblog.com

Brave & Reckless

I entered life an accidental tourist.

My mother’s body served an eviction notice,

But I ignored it and burrowed deeper

Into placental warmth.

My twin, however, weaker,

Entered the world a clotted, bloody,

Gelatinous mess on the white tile

Of a bathroom floor.

The doctor told the man,

Who wasn’t really my father

But thought himself to be,

There was still a heartbeat,

Still a baby left. 

I felt the absence of my twin,

the lack of another’s heart

beating a rhythm to match my own,

racing toward emergence, light, life, breath.

A ghost-like memory I carried with me

Always– Even when I, who survived

By claiming squatter’s right

To my mother’s uterus

As it tried to evict me

And who had never been told

Of my twin’s existence, would

Turn in childhood play and talk

To my twin sister.

My mother asking to whom I talked

And I answering—My…

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