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You taught me to fight or fly

There was nothing in between

No place to rest or be still

Only wielding, only alighting.

In the war or looking down on it.

And to this day, when I sit or lay my head,

I feel the twinge, the pangs 

Of how unnatural a state.

A fear sets in that there is not even a purgatory

For a warrior/bird, such as I ,

One who can no longer 

Thrust a sword and whose feathers,

Once bold and brilliant, now wax dull and tattered.  


Like some frumpy housewife

who, in her prime ,was a vibrant bride of promise,

everything I was told was an advantage

has turned out to be quite the contrary .

Growing up in church, infilling me with rage

at the brand of religious political “agendacized”

gobbledy gook they brandish rather than

bolstering my faith and drawing me closer.

Having two parents who are married

infusing a certain jadedness towards

relationships or anything resembling one

since it seemed I lived in a cell block of warden & prisoner

instead of a nirvana of devoted lovers.

Being called pretty infiltrating my innocence,

providing opportunities for a certain shallow

self loathing that only beauties come by

rather than causing me to to be cherished

enjoyed for the right things, if those things

indeed exist.

Being a citizen of Middle Classdom instilling

in me a sickening predilection for over priced education

and Ikea furniture, shoes made by orphans brittle fingers, homes with HOA fees

rather than some sort of all American work ethic and blind patriotism.

Yes the next time you look at someone, judging them as privileged, advantaged in some way

Remember that to every advantage…turn …turn…turn

is a disadvantage…turn…turn …turn.



I’m not sweet when I’m scared

I’m like Old Yeller

Under the house 

Shivering, cramped and waiting

Keeping my jaw clenched

Trying to hold it together 

Hoping no one will see 

That I’ve turned and I’m 

Not long for this world. 


Words have saved me.

The scribbling of them.

The way they sound when read.

Those marks and formations 

On sheets of white.

I know this sounds bad,

Being a person of faith, 

But it’s true and in ways 

I wish it wasn’t 

That I was good enough 

And fervent enough that 

God’s love alone could do it 

But maybe he knew,

Maybe he recognized 

That words will save us all

Leaving us with only those 

To refer to in chapter and verse. 


I made it out of the badlands

And few ever will 

I keep this in mind as I heal. 

From the days on end of torrential floods, 

Heat that knew no measure.

 I prayed  moment by moment

To see the other side,

Yet now that I’m on it 

Looking over my shoulder, 

Recognizing my flesh will always 

Yearn foolishly for the singe of your sun

And the un predictable, harsh pulse of your downpour 

Because I’m far more familiar with those badlands 

Than any good girl ever should be. 


Loving you is like breathing anymore

Like something I’ve always done

Without thought, without effort

And if I could rewind back to our first meeting,

Our first conversation, I’d lay it all out there

The joys we’d experience, though not leaving out

the loss , the lif we would crash headlong into

That we won’t be able to the brakes on 

Yet strangely and wonderfully enough, I know 

You’d still look at me and say “I’m in”.

And that’s why I chose you.

That gutsy, unadulterated lack of fear

That look in your eyes that said 

“I’ve been waiting for all this, but mostly

I’ve been waiting for you.” 
*for my husband Valentine’s 2016**************


I used to think P.T.S.D.
was a mysteriously horrific thing delegated
to soldiers, P.O.W.’s or holocaust survivors,
but there she sat in front of me
typing on her computer
assigning me to a therapist
for “P.T.S.D. due to an injury”
Even though that was over a year ago

I didn’t really wrap my head around it
until recently, when I felt my head throbbing,
heart pounding, my chest tightening,

that deer being pursued by a  hunter kind of feel yet again
at just the thought of my life returning

to the state it’s declined to in three times

over the past six and a half years.
A state so far outside the fifty original

it would never qualify as a place to put on a map.

A state of down for the count, bed ridden, job lost
not knowing what quality of life I can ever hope to have.

A state of indifferent doctors, caustic nurses, legal calls

floating in pool with a body that can’t walk on land.
And I hadn’t really been able to put a face on P.T.S.D
until recently. You see, it greets me
every single day, and I choose
to let it be a reminder rather than a warden.
Reminding me that we never know what’s behind a face
a person puts on so they can simply

put one foot in front of the other.



No relief likely

yet we try all the same

to transcend, defend,

pretend, and ascend.

Once born, we are here

in a world

where it comes only

in the form of a

flickering smile

here and there,

a minute to ourselves

now and then,

a moment free from pain.

And we see this

we know this but still

like overgrown infants

we cry, we wail, we rail

for the ever alluding relief.


Three teens sit smoking outside

none of them looking old enough 

to have purchased their 

addiction of choice on their own

and I wonder how they arrived 

at the decision to do this the first time

when most adults I know are trying to quit

we all have these things 

these rights of passage that we assume

hasten our maturity, instantly granting us 

a certificate of adulthood we’re so eager to earn

Strange how the things we seek 

morph into the monkeys clawing at our backs

and we never have enough bananas

and those suckers just keep multiplying…

Lost Angeles

I woke early to explore the City of Angels

finding an opportunity, one moment

to bring serenity, to show someone

I saw them amongst the shambles

on the steps of a church

and we only talked for an hour

over coffee about her life, her loss 

the pain she felt she had caused

that had led her to become 

this sad fixture, easily ignored, categorized

pigeon holed to ease minds

all I had to offer was a prayer

she accepted it gladly as we held hands

I prayed she would know peace

among other things that seemed trite 

as I left her, I wondered just how many

angels have fallen and how they will ever fly again