in process: speaking up, and teaching our daughters to do the same

Speak up

This is the thing I want to say:
when I was young
I never knew that there was
more than one path open to us,
that we could make the difficult choice
but I want you
to know it.

Sometimes I don’t know how to do
the thing that I have to do,
the thing that I have chosen.

Sometimes my
skin feels inside out
and my body like it is in 12
places at once.

Sometimes I try to tell someone
but I am behind glass.

No one can hear me.
No one can see my face
without a blur hiding its detail.

Lately I am a calm sea
quiet, with slow, constant motion
but no release.

The small waves
are lulling me into a trance
that will take me through
the long days of darkness
and winter and waiting

but this false calm
cannot last.

I am ready now
to show my
true face.

I am made of fire and earth
and they do not hide.

I look around and see
so many others still hiding

and I wonder why we keep
trying to exert ourselves
over things clearly
so much more
powerful than
we are.

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The Trees

I measure my days in glasses of water –
all my vices have been taken from me
and I am left with only this clear liquid,
responsible for so much good and ill.

Time feels short
and life is tricky
and I suppose
something in me
drew you closer
despite my
difficulty.

But for me,
I think,
it was the trees,

in that certain light
that only comes
right after a rain.

When the sky is a fantastic
dark grey blue backdrop and
the trees themselves
seem to glow
neon green.

Blurry

I spend the day
walking city street
I have not seen in ages
and I realize that I
cannot blame this place
for what happened here.

I could see so clearly
before the clouds came
sending rain washing over
brick and cement and
decaying things.

Before the edges
got blurry.

He tells me that I won’t
be happy in another place.
That the defect is
contained in me,
in my odd
ways of
thinking
and seeing.

And I listen
thinking over
what he tells me.

But when I don’t
agree he is unhappy
and I hate to make
anyone unhappy,
so I pretend
to be unsure.

What you do not understand
must wait to be told and
anyway why should we talk
when you’ve already
made up your mind.

What an odd sensation
to be at the beginning again.

Reckless

Maybe I have
a reckless soul
and am destined
to always be a
problem for
those I love
and who
love me

Maybe
it’s that
I don’t want
to live just
one life.

Choosing one
and forsaking
all others.

Recognizing
what I give up.

And so
I go slowly
try to be content
to breathe deeply
to be forgiving
of myself and others
to immerse myself
in the beauty
of the world around me
and in the joy
of creating.

I get rid of all things that
keep me from this moment.

And then
each night
comes relief
when he
sings to me

drowning out
all other noise.

follow

One morning
I arrive at work
to find that my friend
had dreamt of me
 
in a dress made
of lace and sun
and smiles
 
and of me
 
asking him
to follow
as I walked
barefooted
away from
him
 
with tall grass
blowing beautiful
and breezy
 
and oddly
enough he
did follow
 
until he woke
 
and now we both
wonder where
I was leading us

Particles

Without you I sleep among the particles
 
analyzing every feeling
every movement
every vibe.
Not wanting to wait
I look for answers
and assurances
where there are none.

A man in a hat reaches out to me
and I take his hand, hoping some
answer lies with him.
But our encounter is brief.

In my own searching I have found
some of my own limits,
which are inconvenient,
but I will learn to
work around them.

The right mix of water and alcohol
can generally fix most things.

But not this.

I manage to fill the bed without you
and wonder sometimes how we
fit in it together.

All us animals have our cycles.
The deer and coyotes do not visit us
every night, but they do when it
suites them and I enjoy their
presence when it’s given.

The Robber

I thought apathy was
the worst thing you
could do to me, so
of course it was what
you did, while ignorance
was the worst I could do
to you – and love –
so I did them both
enthusiastically.

I became translucent,
reaching for something
true but unable to grasp it.

Quietly I made it through.

Even occasionally
was sometimes
too much for me
to bear.

That last time you rushed
in too quickly, like you had
other things on your mind
and I was an afterthought.
Just another check mark on
your list of things to do.

At first there had been such
an urgency, a need, and
you couldn’t wait any longer.

But not that day, in your
new house full of unopened
gifts in pretty paper.

That day we both wished
we were somewhere else.

In truth, even before
we wished for an escape.
That night in the dark and
the open air, sounds of the
lake in our ears, your mouth
on mine, your arms pulling
me more and more into you
as you leaned over me and
we got closer and closer
to the ground.