My grandfather planted this tree with roots poisoned after the war. His father watered it, the seed which came before. My father nurtured them, these roots of ruined fiber. This tree grew ever higher. Its fruit, rotting, my mother prepared for me. She sweetened it, tried to soothe it down, Nothing could disguise the smell of these roots rotting in the ground. It falls to me, as this tree must be fed; A living sacrifice of a life never lead. I toss my children as far as I can; Mutter the same empty words my mother offered Over knotted hands.
Word Count: 100
A write for Friday Fictioneers, roped in by Rochelle Wisoff Fields. I also think it’s Sunday (though I am not 100% sure). I’ve been writing my research proposal/thesis. I’m afraid I’m not good for much else right now.
“Six … I count six broken dreams …” “Oh my god Jerry! They’re just watering cans! I’m gonna put flowers in them.” Zan thrust a faded can into her boyfriend’s hands. “Saw it on pinterest; such a great way to spend a Saturday.” Jerry looked down at their toddler son. Last time Zan ‘saw it on pinterest’ the family had to dress as zoo animals for pictures. “This is what you do for love kiddo.” He whispered. “Oh look! Here’s a yellow one!” Zan clasped her hands and gasped. “It has a bluebird!” “Seven … I count seven …”
Word Count: 99
Many thanks to Rochelle for hosting weekly Friday Fictioneers. Visit her page for more info about the challenge. Want more fictioneers? Click the blue froggy below.
Blue doors stoic against white washed summer walls
What awaits me beyond those carefully curated wooden walls?
Are there candles aglow or choirs angelic?
A return to life which withstood pandemics?
Were every role played
Within the confines of finite memory?
Perhaps there awaits all which we’ve lost.
Tears shed over damp sheets
And fresh mounds of dirt;
Carefully sculpted castles for our bones.
For once I may say, we’ll never truly know.
As my ornate blue doors slide into the distance,
The way our true love fades
From your memories and words,
Meant for another, promised over sun bleached summer days.
A little story time to go with this little poem.
When I was a snotty pre-teen, maybe around 11 or 12, I was giving my mom a hard time as we drove home. I don’t remember about what, it doesn’t matter really but it was a moment for her that unleashed something else. Without saying much she swung her old minivan into the parking lot of a mixed Korean/Baptist church at the end of our street and started crying.
“Maybe one day I just won’t come home.”
I didn’t know how to react. I kept telling her it would be ok but what I really remember is that we were parked right in front of the church doors.
Looking back I’m fairly sure my mom probably suffered from the same anxiety and depression that now plagues me and my sisters in various forms. Coupled with the weight of my narcissistic father’s constant cruelty and I’m certain this wasn’t her only breaking point.
It may not have been a breaking point at all but more of a blip on the radar of constant pressure to provide when the one you’ve promised to walk beside has more or less declared “jokes on you”.
Today’s International Women’s Day and I’ve seen posts all over social media remembering and celebrating accomplishments. That’s wonderful, I embrace it. I also ask that we not forget about the women who are dragging themselves out of bed everyday simply because they have to. The women who have laid awake all night threatened by their own nightmares and now have little people depending on them to function. The women who have gently laid dreams aside or practice them quietly after hours because there’s simply no one else to “bring home the bacon” and the dreams they have aren’t to that point yet. The women who have found themselves trapped and unable to leave for fear, so they trudge through every day the best they can while pretending everything is ok.
Society has come far but society still has a way to go.
I want you to read to me when I’m sick;
Lying in bed, tossing and turning,
Heart racing and head spinning,
Vision shaking and hands quaking.
I want you to gently sing
The psalms of old poets to clear
What’s left of my mind.
I won’t be angry
If you cover your face;
If you call this a contaminated place.
I just want you to brush matted hair aside
And say ‘I love you’ one last time.
What secrets this lake keeps
When the dark nights rain
And it’s just humid enough
For the lake to stain
With the ghost of clouds
That couldn’t quite take flight.
There’s a story here
Only unfolding in those nights.
Billy lives in that mansion across the way.
Him, his mistress and a perfect family.
He shines the spotlight over the lake
When the fogs settle in thick.
Billy claims it’s for the speedsters,
Whipping in and out,
Keeps them quick.
But I know the truth,
Of Billy and the lake
And the girl he vowed to take
As his first, his wife.
His heart and soul she was.
Until one day sweet Billy found her
Facedown in the red mud;
To the back and head.
The gun was his
And sweet Billy was no saint.
Scared, he hid
Her body at the bottom of the lake.
Now he shines his spotlight,
When the fogs coat the waters thick
To keep the specter of his love
From spilling his secrets like oil slicks.