Unravelling and weaving, sometimes simultaneously

Posts tagged ‘release’


When I was little
she was a demigoddess
the breast I fed from
the teacher
the healer of skinned knees
with kisses and songs

When she broke
I didn’t understand
what breaking meant
but I learned
that it meant
pieces scatter
and take people with them
that it meant
lines are drawn
sides taken
and if you don’t choose
your choice is taken

even if you choose
you don’t get
what you wanted

I was the only one there
so she projected
every bit of everything
upon me

all her fears
became mine
by default

I did not own them
but forced into
the indentured servitude
of blood and proximity
I carried them
heavy and foreign
around my neck
her millstone
she was too weak
to bear

He told me that
she needed me
and she did

she needed someone
to hold all the things
she didn’t have room for
as she flew apart

she needed someone
to stand guard at the door
while she disintegrated
curled into a ball
salting the earth
I struggled to grow in

she needed someone
who would never leave her
and ultimately
I was the one
who never did

with the baggage
of years between us
I reached over it
and held her hand
wiped her face
changed the channel
told her stories
as if
she were
my child
of the other way

The morning they called
I knew when the phone rang
because I could feel it

the layers of her
overlaying me
slid away
as gently as her hands
had been
when things were
innocent and good
and no one took sides
or looked into someone else’s eyes
and said

You never loved me

(c) RCGA 2015

Mattie Belle 1931-2010

A little note… she was named for her grandmother, who was known by her nickname, but the name on her birth certificate was Amanda, a name that means “worthy of being loved”. She always wished that had been her name; perhaps she never understood that she was not only worthy, but always loved.


The Fox Dream

From the edge of the woods
an old fox limped
towards me
russet fur matted with burrs
one eye
half closed

He was ready to die
and we both knew it

Our gaze met
and he raised his chin
the old reticence
for human company
burned away
by the bravery of
impending demise

‘Hello, friend’
I hunkered down
to make myself small
but he was past fear
and went to his belly
his front paws
just touching
my knees

We sat a moment
while he caught his breath
his chest bellowing
beneath his unkempt fur

When he looked up
his eyes were like honey
deep and golden
striations surrounding
a beautiful abyss
fogged with pain
and resignation

I felt the tears
I did not know were coming
slide down my cheeks
as I carefully
reached down to cup his head
between my palms

My heart swelled
something my mind
could not
or would not

With one deep
shuddering exhale
he let go
relaxing into my hands
and his beautiful eyes
slid closed
he licked his dry black nose
and offered the rigor
of a smile
more like a grimace
of submission
and I leaned forward
touching my forehead
to his

And so we sat
following each other’s breaths
in the damp early morning
simply waiting
for the right moment
knowing it was imminent
yet still not knowing

I could almost sense
the slow creep of stillness
rising from the earth
to fill his limbs
before the quiet instant
between one breath
and the next
that I realized
I was the only one

(c) RCGA 2015


For the first time
while I stood in the bell tower
talking to you

someone else came in

and he didn’t notice
that I was crying

but chattered and smiled
apologizing for disturbing me
at the kneeler

I said simply
that Friday was your birthday
and he cocked his head
and said

Then it’s a good thing
I came in here to ring the bell

and he pulled the rope
until the clang resonated over our heads
and around us

three times

echoing against the bricks
and brass
clearing out everything
but the vibration of sound
that swirled around us
flying up and out the tower peak
and across the city

(c) RCGA 2015


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