In the Middle of the Mud

mud

I spent years at the edge.

I paraded with my picket sign

to demonstrate my disdain for the dregs,

lobbied for others to clean up their act,

slung my share of dirt

in the hopes that none of it would come home to me.

I washed my hands of it.

But you –

you put on your rubber boots

and slogged into the middle of your mess

and made mud pies.

You got up to your elbows in it

and your laughter sang

and your eyes widened at the wonder of it all

and I dared to hope

that maybe here,

in the middle of the mud,

there might be something real.

Something that smelled of soil

and germination,

rain and sunshine woven

into a thing of beauty.

Your laughter is gone, now –

but I bought a new pair of boots

and I’m hungry.

I’m hungry for

mud pies…

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Hide and Seek

hide and seek

I quit.

I don’t like this game.

I never win.

I can’t find you anywhere,

but somehow you always find me.

Even when I hide

you find a way to uncover me;

if I bury myself in busyness

or hole up on facebook,

medicate with chocolate

or embalm my memories,

there you are.

Even when I sleep, you find me,

disguised as men with guns who somehow

(despite my dreamland skill)

always know exactly where I am.

And then you leave,

 with only your salty-wet footprints

on my cheeks to mark your exit.

This hide thing

doesn’t work for me.

So

I will change the rules.

I’ll make a hot cup of tea

and sit in my prayer chair

and count to ten

slow

and

I may

just

learn to truly seek.

I will seek you in

the sigh of a child,

peals of laughter,

every act of courage,

every selfless prayer.

I will learn to love well,

listen with my heart,

speak for those with no voice,

champion the weak,

embrace my mess

and

then,

then I will

seek this God

whom you loved with abandon,

with faith that could not be broken

by accident or

miscarriage

or tumours

or physical agony

and then,

there,

(ready or not)

I will

find you…

Disaster DIY

broken home

 

It’s not broken.

Just needs a coat of paint

and some appliance

up-grades.

Children raised here

will not grow

crooked backs or

necks or

morals or

hearts. Give them

extra birthday presents

and they’ll be fine

breathing in the dust

of our broken dreams

and bearing the

weight

of our renovations.

Neverland’s Shore

sunlit daylily

 

Only in the Shadowlands,

that vaguely recalled dream-world

which disappears without trace

upon awakening to

the feel of flannelette stamped

on skin, the lunches to pack,

the chaos to realign –

only in her fantasies

does he hold her like this, arms

cradling her curves, head leaning

in hungry. She’ll function with

smiles through meetings and play-dates

and meal-plans and lists, but when

the shadows grow long and sleep

sings its lullabies, her heart

will wander barefoot that well-

worn path to Neverland’s shore.

 

What She Saw

frilly daylily

 

A daylily, ruffled and still

with folds of fresh linen (freshly

made bed) soaking up sunshine on

laundry-day line. She paused there, caught

helplessly on its anthers, struck

by the glory that withered while

she watched. ‘Why bother?’ she asked no

one in particular. Leaning

in, she traced the petticoats, breathed

deep of Arabian nights, veiled

virgins dancing on memory’s

edge. Eloquence beckoned on pale

finger with nail painted purple,

folding to hide philosopher’s

stone. Time passed. Conquerors and kings

and sleeping beauties, history

and fantasy, who she could be

in the morrow swayed and unfurled

in complex rhythms and secret

whispers. Her back straightened, rigid

barrier, and, closing her eyes,

she walked blindly back to the house.

 

Pandora’s Box

Pandora's Box daylily

 

She was sure Yesterday

was dead and gone. She had,

after all, buried it deep

in a wooden crate

under the old apple

tree (the one that split

down the trunk

during the storm of

’79). So

when it raised its hoary

head, she knew

someone had opened

Pandora’s Box.

*************

This daylily’s name? Pandora’s Box, of course.