Out of Service

Oh, days of being toney about the town,

how I miss you.

My pinkish hue has turned to punk.

My finest food has been made funk.

My smile’s been padlocked in a trunk.

I sloop down farther in my bunk.

I wish that I was more than drunk.

When depression calls on me.

Where did you come from ravenous brute?

You bully in a zoot suit,

I thought that I had given you the boot.

I figured I had killed you at the root.

I can’t even go on a two day toot*

When depression calls on me.

Then, if by miracle, a new wind blows in

giving back my zeal, vigor, zen.

Depression calls, but my number has changed.

Do do do…the number you have dialed is no longer in service. Please, check your number and try your call again.

*Going on a toot is sneaking off to get drunk for a few days. During that time, a drunken person may attempt wild and dangerous feats.

Oh, Canada (or Are We There Yet?)

I remember riding in the station wagon (the family truckster) forever. Are we there yet? From Kentucky to Canada, back when you didn’t need a passport.

I had to sit in the middle between my much older brother and sister. Mark listened to Styx on his Walkman. Beth slept. How could anyone sleep in this stifling heat.

There were two bathroom breaks. You held it in. Dad commandment one. If I made a request to stop, I got it paid back at night. We had a schedule to keep.

Every time we stopped at McDonald’s to eat, my sister had to pull me out of my seat. Vinyl and shorts did not go together well. My legs made a suction noise as she yanked me out. You had to do it like a removing band aid so that it didn’t hurt as bad. I had the same meals every day: hotcakes for breakfast and plain cheese burgers for lunch and dinner with fries, of course. Dad would be the perfect dad in public…taking everyone’s tray to them and throwing the trash out. Hurry up in the bathroom. Mark rarely went to the bathroom. I wondered if dad hurt him in there. Like he would know. He has no memory of his eighteen plus years with the family yet he hates me for supposedly being treated better because I was the youngest. Selective memories must be nice

Are we there yet? Are we there to yet? Are we close??? Then, there was Canada! Oh, Canada! Cabins and lakes and fishing and eating out at good places and mountains and bears in the garbage and the prolific walks and picnics before Mom lost her leg, everyone has one- picture of themselves as a kid on the potty- mine was in that cabin, and my Sioux Shaman babysitter (she is a story for another time) and wild and wonderful Canada! Exploring, lazy mornings- unless you were going fishing, nature walks, riding horses. No dad in my bed. Oh, Canada, you were more than a vacation spot; you were a fun refuge.

A Little Nitty Gritty Ditty

I’m dying

Inside

I ain’t lying

To hide

I see you coming for me

Mister Anxiety

Go fuck

Off

Turn your damn head

And cough

That’s right I got chesticles

And, I got you by the testicles

Got you in a vice grip

You try to move and I’ll rip, rip, rip

I break a chair over your back

To make up for all the things you think I lack

I repeat

Fuck you

Take a seat

While I use my voodoo

Concoction of pills

That thwart away your chilling ills

I won’t give up till I’ve won

I’m done.

Poet’s Note: I have intense anxiety attacks. I’ve had a horrible one building along with a migraine for 9 hours. I missed an important appointment that I have been waiting for since spring. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and had to write it out. It’s a little better now; Of course I’ve had two doses of meds now and kisses from my service dog and support dog who are curled up next to me on the couch which is some feat considering that they are both big ass dogs. Please, excuse the foul language, but, if you have ever had a major panic attack, you understand. If not, deal with it. I think this would be a good rap, so I’m giving it to the best rapper I’ve ever heard, my friend, Ian Gabriel to do with as he pleases. With all of that being said, there’s one last thing…I’m out. Mic drop…

How I Love You So

I am so exhausted by seeing you one hour a week and wondering how you are feeling the time that I am alone.

Alone, stuck down here in hell where the Bible Belt hooks together.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that though I was ill and missed church again today. Darn Shingles! I keep breaking out from one side to the other back to the other. It utterly drives a person insane.

As do you, but I understand. You have a family there, and I am your family down here. I just miss you and your goofy smiles and belches.

I remember when you used to point Heavenward when you belched like this one is for the Barbie Dream House you forgot to give me, God. And, I would get so worried and challenge saying, “One day He’s going to come down here and ask you what your problem is!” And, you simply replied that you couldn’t wait, because you had some daring questions for Him. I knew what they were, Thea. I understand now, but now, finally, you two have made up. Yes, you and God are just like this (with two fingers crossed together, and I am the thumb way down here.

I miss you more. Being a decade apart, I have always missed you. I went into second grade; you went to college. I went to high school, you went to Yale. Finally, I finished my frosh year in college, and you went came home to get another Master’s. We lived together in an old, beat up, haunted house. The fun and funny years.

Then, David died. The fun stopped. You stopped being you for years that seemed like millennia. Our bickering became full fledged fighting brawls. And, Moreland came around. Life started getting better. Harry joined the group. Definite upswing! You had him at first blueberry muffin; you are the nose that nose and the cook that cooks.

When my now dead husband banished me to hell where we didn’t know a single person, then died two months later, you were there even when I wasn’t. Now, I am crawling my way back to Purgatory while you have lowered the rope. Between us, haven’t we covered every religion? Between us, haven’t we been through everything?

And, we never truly leave each other’s hearts.

Oh, my sister, how I love you so.

Pain Stings

The pain of not knowing fills my body like a breaking air conditioner.

It tries to cool you down but really just shakes and leaks and keeps you lukewarm.

Putting out little fires everywhere on your couches’ recliner with a warm comfy blanket and snuggling down with your two big dogs on you, trusting you, relying on you, and having to continually get up because someone texts and needs this or you forgot that. Soon, the sweet canines get up with lazy, confused faces and find a safer place to take their nap.

Betrayal is like when your best friend knows something that you think is seriously wrong with your health and when you are sitting there with your hair fuzzy and wet with tears, your long sleeve shirt she gave you in the summer is stained with tea because you have a partial bottom lip and can’t drink like a normal human and the capris she gave you are wide open for the world to see because the zipper broke the first time you wore them. But beggars can’t be choosers.

To me, pain is not 37 shots into your spine twice a week so that you can walk again or your father raping you when you are five or even your beating your head against the fridge because of writer’s block. Pain is your best friend trying to gain legal guardianship of you when you are a 49 year old woman with an IQ of 184 who just wrote a book.

Pain is an author trying to open her heart and no one quite gets it, because, then, you are alone.

Going Down to the Farm

Wild blackberry bushes, you make my hands sticky. But, oh, your fruit tastes divine.

The big field for riding Babe bottoms out. I have no saddle on her and I am clutched to her mane as we soar across the green and yellow.

River, oh, how I adore taking the wooden canoe down to AKeller Dam. Dip, dip, and pull, one side and then the other.

Train, where is your station? Lost in years where Granny would hear All aboard echoing through the old country store. Now, your great engine just blows past the trees calling to days past.

Little church, with your designated pews name plaques on them, are you listening to my grandmother pumping the ancient organ?

Freckles, freckles everywhere, you are as much a part of the farm as the cattle and tobacco. Why can’t we put a little cabin in the woods upon the peak.

Watery creek, you know my skin well as my naked body floats like lemons in Momma’s tea until a splashing quarrel begins, and my suitless body is drenched. Watch out for the snapping turtle, boys; They are mean.

Goodbye, Granny.

So long farm.

If folks can’t see the beauty in you, they will never see the true me…