Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday Sorrow

I miss you, 
especially on Sundays - 
your favorite day of the week. 

I hope you're in a better place 
and proud of me. 

I carry your words every day, 
but sometimes 
it just isn't enough. 

I need more - 
a second helping of love - 
but there isn't any left. 

We just have this one life 
and today 
it isn't enough.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Anneslee Poems: War Badges

Our mothers
were best friends

There should have been
a warning:

Bridges Burned
After Crossing. 

But we crossed
after them anyway,
following their steps
and dropping lit matches
behind us,
never learning to stay
where the good is.

They're professionals
at leaving
wherever they go.

We never thought
the fire would touch us,
but here we stand,
holding burned hands
and watching
them run off
without us. 

We're lucky - 
not everyone
who touches
their fire

We wear our scars
 like war badges.
It's all we have.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Anneslee Poems: The Girl on the Page

I read the words
on the page
and I am the girl
living among
the syllables.

I am she,
she is me
but she is also you.

We are all the same

in print.

The Anneslee Poems: Savior Without a Saint

I’ll be the one
you can
hang your hat on,
throw under the bus
and blame.

I’m the perfect
scape goat –
I won’t go anywhere
so you can get away.

I’ll be your whipping boy,
I’ll carry your heavy load.
I’ll draw the shortest straw,
I’ll cover you and take the blows.

Give me your sentence
and I’ll serve it without a word.
I’ll forget everything I could’ve had,
let my life be lived deferred.

No one has to know
that it was really your fault.
I’ll shoulder all the blame,
I’ll be guilty by default.

But don’t think for a minute
that I will ever forget
this burden is yours I carry. 

The Anneslee Poems: Relativity

Your smile snakes
across your face,
eager to prove
there’s something more
that binds us
than blood.

But I know better.

I know your secrets –
the ones you only tell
hold close to the chest,
pray to Jesus
no one else
finds you out.

But I did.

I saw you
flat on your back
on my bed
like you owned the place,
smashing your face
and body against his –
a man too short
with hair too dark
to be the same man
who gave you that ring
on your finger.

These things
are hard to understand,
you say.
Adults make strange
choices under circumstances
I could never imagine,
you claim.
I hear you.
I’m listening.
But what you’re saying
is nothing new.
Your words cannot skew
the images burned in my mind.
I’ve seen you –
waiting to be ravaged
and this is what
I understand:
you are not innocent.

I know your secrets
and no amount of blood
between us
will make me forget it.

The Anneslee Poems: Free Speech

You part your lips
for the cigarette
and inhale all the words
you should’ve said.

The smoke comes out
bitter and stale
like all the feelings
you keep stuffed in.

If you’d had your wits
about you,
you’d said so much.
But you couldn’t think,
couldn’t speak,
couldn’t make the hate
come off your tongue,
so you brought it home
to stay
like a bad cold
that turns
into the bubonic plague –
killing everyone
with one single blow
of your nose.

Let the hate roll out
of your mouth
instead of down
your throat
and maybe,
just maybe
we’ll make it

until morning.

The Anneslee Poems: Who's Laughing Now?

Your words start to slur
as you take another sip
and tip-toe across
the kitchen, trying not to
trip over your own feet.

When will you see
you’re too old for this?

You pour another
and another
and another,
never once wondering
if one more
is one more too many.

First, it was only at dinners
and parties and lunches
with clients.
Then came the Happy Hours
with swerving drives home
avoiding ditches.

And last comes now, at home,
where you sit alone
trying to remember
the daughter you drowned
in neglect;
your hate-filled hand erected
like a stone statue at my face.
hits to the back of the head
where the hair hides
your hand print.

Genius… even when you drink.

You sway so close
I can smell the stink
of all your demons
on your breath
and I just want to disappear,
leave this place
full of hate and fear
until it doesn’t exist,
until I don’t exist
and my name cannot
pass through your sour lips
ever again.

Sleep finds you quick
as I sit and wonder
how I ended up
with a mother
like you.
All I can think of –
the only truth in this world –
is God must have
a sick sense of humor, too.