Starry, Starry Night

It was a clear October night.  My sisters and I piled into the old red Chevy with our stepfather Dan, and headed outside of town for the hospital where my mother was in the mental ward.  None of us spoke; we hardly ever spoke in those years.  Dan kept his eyes on the road, chain-smoking Dorals.  I stared through the glass, street lights passing over my hooded eyes.  As we il_570xN.523491293_ei2tneared the outskirt, the sky suddenly opened out into space.  I thought of nothing.  I didn’t think of my mother.  I didn’t think of the speed of change.  I stared up into the stars where I didn’t have to feel anything.  It’s okay to be lost when you’re reminded how small you are, how little your voice is.

We swung into the nearly empty parking lot and walked to a group of picnic tables under Read More

Fears, Prayers, Robes

Fear has been consuming me the last few days.  Weeks.  Months.  It was camouflaged as daily worries, bills, being a good provider for my daughter–all of which I feel I am failing at.   I’m drowning in debt/fines.  Well I am not drowning, I’m just overwhelmed, waiting for this damn disability is killing me.  But anyway, last night, after another night of being wide awake, thoughts flying and racing and accumulating, I began to look at what was going on beneath my pounding heart and cramping chest (good ole anxiety)-but before I could see the problem, I thought of Jesus, and I began to cry.  When I am at my breaking points, he comes out of nowhere.  I felt his hand on my forehead like a parent checking for a fever and I felt love.  My lost girl, my lost child, I could feel him say.  Which only made me cry harder.  Whether this was my subconscious speaking, madness, or Him, who knows, but they were words given to me, not created by my waking psyche.  My pillow honestly felt like his robes and I cried and cried and I told him that I’m afraid.  Afraid of 38029_415what?  Death? Yes.  No.  I’m afraid of myself.  Again.  I’m afraid of fear–terrified of fear.  I could feel peace seeping in a little, and then I reached for him thinking the moment was fleeting, but he was still there, in my heart, and I was saying in my mind–you’re still here, you never leave—and the response was that he never ever leaves, that he is here and was here the whole time, I just had to realize it because I was the one that would leave, not him.  Having someone to love you so unconditionally and never leave you and still want to hold you and dry your tears no matter what kind of monster you feel like–that alone makes me cry.  I tested my ‘sick thoughts’ on him and they didn’t hold either–you’re just sick, he’d seem to say–it’s not you.  My chest pain began to go away.  I thought of my favorite (psalm?)–when you see only one set of footprints, that is when I carried you.  He has carried me quite often.  And you know there is no asking for relief from this life, there is only being thankful for what you have.  I stared at my little Emma and thanked him over and over for her and then I went into a sort of deeper meditation, asking myself if maybe I’m too tired for this life.  Or something else was asking me if I was too tired to do this anymore.  The room changed.  Everything I looked at looked tiresome and redundant and depressing and empty and so so lonely.  I’m so lonely. I thought about death, about how that slip must be so simple when the time comes, a relief.   But some kind of light always remains in me–I KNOW there is something greater I am meant to do.  I have so much more to give.  I have so much to teach Emma.  So much is in me.  And in my heart He said–then do it.  Love yourself, it’s the only way you can love her better and show her what you want to show her.  Take care of your body, or it WILL fail you.  Get up.  Again.  And love yourself.

So that’s the plan.  Thanks for listening.


This poem was inspired by a photograph taken by artist James Rainsford who is featured tonight over at dVerse Poets Pub, on the subject “Patterns Pictures and Poems.”  I used the photo “Reflections” as a poem prompt and scrawled this out in five minutes and left it as is.  Kinda fun.  Go check out Rainsford! Some talent!

Photo Copyright: James Rainsford. Used with permission:












A black menagerie of life

I’m walking dark paths, manecured

for my foreign feet

I can barely see, the moon shafts glow

through the canopy, electric on the toes of my Chucks

forward forward

the leaves shush in the air streams

just above a whisper

it’s cold, my shoes scrape;

outside of myself I wake in this dark

beautiful place

I look up and see moon spreading

on water cradled by trees, dark petals

huddling the shore;

I see myself now mirrored–

I see it–still, at last, on the surface

my blood running in cool currents

I’d forgotten before to breathe in darkness–

that it was okay

to let mother moon hide and then shine–

it was okay

to be lost

the darkness will find

a reflection.

Fragile Things

At some point everything becomes clear. That doesn’t necessarily mean a good clear, but fact is preferred over fiction when you’re locked up in a mental ward. Again. And it’s snowing out–and worse–it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re thirtieth birthday is coming and you’re little girl must be looking for you. It’s all you can do to decipher the shell-shocked woman-child looking back at you in the tin mirror bolted to the wall above your sink. Here you get your own sink because this time, this trip into the bin, they knew it was much more serious than they had originally thought, and your “security” was upgraded. You have a thought you would usually have–that the upgrade only makes you feel more nuts–but at this point, you don’t feel nuts. You are nuts. I say to myself ‘I’m clinically insane’ and for a moment I believe it’s something to smile about. When the leading psychiatrist told me on New Year’s Day morning that I was clinically psychotic and suffering from complex PTSD, I thought about my mind–clearly–for a second, and I imagined a blue and orange brain-scan image showing clouds of sick. Then I slipped back into the room , in and out of dissociating, and the yellow walls were much too close and I could taste rubber in my mouth and then the Read More