Hour 12 Campfire

Fire crackles under ebony sky

teepee branches fall into flame

paper unfurls, turns to ash

smoke plumes swirl above us

marshmallow fingers

chocolate smiles

long stories

lovely

fun

Hour 11/ Gumboots

Gumboots

She stands in borrowed gumboots,

Sunk deep in mud

rushing river swelling to her knees

Shaking her head

wishing to be somewhere, anywhere else

Fly fishing, not her choice but she’d lost the toss

Next time she’d win

and choose, something, anything else 

But for now 

mind drifting, under periwinkle sky

she peers up at the skyscraper shaped cloud,

craves the sourdough bread from the city bakery

wonders if she will beat traffic to get to there

before the storefront sign is turned.

Hour Seven/House of Nerds

House of Nerds

Normal is a house of nerds

     a book character best friend

latest novel as conversation starter

      a ten-year old recognizes the tropes 

Normal is a house where music

      is poetry, reciting lines of Shakespeare entertainment

Normal is house of contemplation

      where we welcome questions and doubts

      about a higher power, consider the meaning of our existence

Do we ascend to a heavenly plain or return to the universe?

      Where does our energy, our life force go?

Normal is often anxiety and stress

      These questions perplex and confound

      perfection is elusive, so why do we do obsess?

Normal is introversion but not misanthropy

      We don’t dislike people, 

      We’re just uncomfortable in crowds

Our normal is a house of nerds

 

Hour 5/Long Car Rides

Long Car Rides

They told me long car rides were the most painful,

the time when silence stirs sweet memories and

tears surge, those moments — raw, unavoidable grief moments 

 

They weren’t wrong,

No, those who had suffered lose before me,

were not wrong.

 

It has been two years since my mother’s passing,

and mostly I drive with the radio on,

the louder the music the better to subvert silence,

loud music to prevent the onslaught of tears,

that strike in the quiet, raw grief moments 

but sometimes 

I choose the silence 

I choose the silence to remember

to remember mom kneeling in the garden,

tending vegetables,

gathering clippings of yellow daffodils,

plucking ripe cherry tomatoes

 

I choose silence to remember

mom nestled beside her grandchildren, reading, singing…

I choose silence to see mom kneading dough,

spreading her love through cooking

I chose silence to listen to mom’s voice,

calling my name. I must strain to hear.

 

Sometimes,

I just chose silence on long car rides,

choose silence and tears to remember.

 

 

Hour 4/No Holding Back

“I cross the street without an arm to hold me back” — They Both Die At the End

 

Cross the street

don’t glance back

because walking in fear is walking

in darkness

 

Don’t let the world

hold you back,

fight inertia

add bumps and curves to the line

move with purpose

find your light within

believe you are strong

be true

true

to yourself

 

Cross the street

don’t look back

move forward,

carry on

take the next step

and the next

and the next

because holding still

and pretending

is

death

Hour 3/Be Alive

I gulp fresh air with full breaths

Infuse life in lungs

 

I smell fragrant life of summer

the freshly mown lawn,

mingled with perfumes of 

gardenias, hyacinth

jasmine

 

I run hands

through damp earth

 

I dance between the raindrops

Touch life

 

Hour 2/Long Run at Dawn

Long Run at Dawn

Just breath & thumping percussion of sneakered feet

the rush of wind whistles soprano

heart pulsing like steady music with solid beat

 

Running through morning mist, dewy lawns, 

tulips unfolding to the sun blooming, 

bleeding red into horizon at dawn

running into the day

Hello

Hello Fellow Marathoners!

I hail from Cleveland, Ohio and I’m a middle school teacher. This will be my third 1/2 marathon, and I can’t wait to write again with you.  I have a commitment in the morning I couldn’t reschedule, so I may be playing a bit of catch up throughout the day but I’m ready to go with all my provisions: coffee, coffee and more coffee!  Happy Writing Everyone!!!

 

Hour 12: Maybe I Want it to Be

Line from Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

“Maybe I Want it to Be”

Maybe beneath the aged weeping willow,

boughs bending in supplication to earth

I will discover a sunken hideaway

 

It will be buried underneath gnarled roots

which grip black soil, like old friends clinging

to one another

 

A secret cavernous sanctuary

to burrow safe from disease with

complex veins of hope and magic

to filter life and breath

a fantastical child’s palace that fulfills all 

want —

where no one weeps

Maybe I want it to be

 

Hour 11: The Masks We Wear

Inspired by Paul Laurence Dunbar “We Wear the Mask”

The Masks We Wear

 

A veil obscures me from the eyes of others,

false confidence under strained smiles masks my desires for belonging,

a pretense of confidence, swathed in fine thread

is ardent desire to end what unravels inside me, and to stop

what — shifting sand, which keeps me from discovering solid ground

where I can stand

we are not “we”, I am only “one” 

and I wear a mask because I must