I walk my dog by the children at play. I must stop to admire a small girl upon the swings, Kicking her feet straight out and leaning her body back, A challenge to the dimensions of air, A brave heart to dare push her feet against the height of the sky.
Yes, this girl, smiling in the joy of her challenge and dares, Will carry her brave heart into her youth, And, I hope for her, she will carry it to her grave, Dying with the bravest of hearts. Unlike me, who carries a heart tucked away Inside this lidded vase kept upon a shelf.
How to fix this leaky valve?
First, a mild little
But it’s worn just a bit more
To a moderate
Drip, drip, drip
And on so it goes to bleed out
A smidgen here and there,
Muttering and stuttering
About things it could once contain.
Nothing a spritz of WD can’t fix.
Maybe some plumber’s tape round the edge
To help the seal when it should close.
Maybe some solder to narrow the band?
Or use the iron to apply that stitching stuff
To hold a hem or two?
Just rip it from my chest.
Throw it to the flames.
Watch it shrivel, turning black
And then to ash.
Who knows? I may be rewarded
With a bird of feathered flame,
Clutching in its talons a burning heart
To place inside my chest.
Or, if not, I could use the ash
To mark my empty breast
With an X.
I wanted to run among the wild ones.
Live with them among the mountains.
Rub muzzle against muzzle.
Eat sweet grasses.
Enjoy golden warmth upon my back.
Let my soul and spirit rest
Among the trees with the wild ones.
But it was not to be.
My heart could not slow enough
To contain their peace.
And so, I sought the white ones at the sea.
They crashed about restlessly.
Truly wild they were, as they raced continually.
Their cacophonous pacing furious, relentless.
Yes, these wild white stormy ones were in keeping
With my heart, a raging irregular and brutal pace.
No roots here, Not under this. Not under this, North Texas sky. Nothing grew, Nothing rooted, Although I tried.
I planted native plants, Fertilized and tended, Weeded and watered, Talked lovingly even, Became the crazy lady With the plants.
For a bit, just a bit, Each plant bloomed In wonderful cinematic, Glorious technicolor. I would think– I’ve got it right! But no. Each would start To wilt and fade. I googled and researched, Soil tested even. Yes, it’s true– to know What to do. But I was doing everything right.
No expert could tell me true, Just why I could not Get anything to flourish, to grow, to root In this, this North Texas soil Under this, this North Texas sky.
You, your perfume, Or something in the scent of you Clogged my nose, My sinuses, My bronchial tubes With fluid like cement, Leaving me no air To live on.
Really, suffocation Never felt so sweet.
You were warmth personified Like fire you fed on the oxygen Whenever you wanted, Wherever you were. But God, it felt like heaven To warm myself near your flames. Until it felt like hell And I burned in the flames, Sucking in nothing but smoke.
So now we know,
You told me I wasn’t,
But I was—
Said you loved me
Just the way I was—
But was it true?
Yes, I was perfect
Just the way I was—
But you didn’t care for:
My curly hair,
My high heels,
My red lipstick.
So, I became a cut out,
Of the rest of my parts
With the parts you inserted,
A sewn together woman.
Then electrified and brought back
To life by a love you claimed
Was for the true me.
Now the parts you inserted
Die away, shriveling at the lack
Of your electricity.
A stiff-legged walk to your door,
Shuck this graying shit and warm myself
By the fire I create to burn
These rigor mortised parts.
Thus, I become something more akin
To myself once again—
That little stranger
With curly hair,
And signature whore red—
My little one.
This is a blog about my life. It's about much more than living with cancer. It's about reading books, cold water swimming, mothering, eating. All that stuff that people who don't have cancer do. If you're looking for my poems you need to go to fmmewritespoems.wordpress.com