Writing Prompt #287

Use these two metaphors in a poem: “an inch of scorn” and “a cradle of beliefs”

It was never easy being the one who was different.
Never a sigh out of place but a gut filled with longing
Somewhere I knew there would answers abound
But I was behind. Blind.
Out of touch.
There were things to say
Bursting to be born from my thoughts
But they wouldn’t have listened.
They would have read their preferred reaction
In their leather bound books of exclusion,
nestling back into the cradle of their belief
Assured that they would come out the winners.

And where it hurt me before,
Shattered the shell I’d constructed
Left open and raw,
Now it was healing.
Replacing the ache for approval,
I look down and sideways,
Never allowing one
Within an inch of my scorn.

There could be another way,
Soothing and warm,
Buttered over with forgiveness and acceptance
But we seem to prefer ice
Sharp words and looks
And separating the different
From the different
In another way.

Day 27 of 30 day challenge

day 27- Your definition of the meaning of life.

I have no clue what life means or why we live it. I don’t know if I subscribe to the theory that God watches us and waits for us to say and do the right things (which he knows the ultimate outcome and all) or the one where we’re all floating around in a cloud of maybe and wait and see.

I don’t know and I don’t think there is any way to know.

I think the best thing anyone can do is be a good person. Do unto others, you know? Live your life so that people are sorry when you’re gone.

Day 05 of 30 day challenge

day 05- A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life

You were not planned and not expected.
You were gone as soon as we knew you were there.
Maybe you knew without knowing that our life was not quite ready for you yet.
I think of you more often than I ever thought I would. I wonder what life would have been if you had become a part of our lives.
I would never have been able to decide to wait. You must’ve known it wasn’t the right time. So you made the choice we never could have. You left us with nothing but a memory, and none of us will ever know what might have been.

They said you were never more than a few cells. You never even had a heartbeat.

But I still think about you. I think of your hair, your chubby hands. Trucks and mud. Barbies and lipstick. All the toys and diapers.

And I think of the gift you gave us, in giving us a few more years.

I wonder if there’s a shadow of you in what would have been your little sister. I wonder if you’d have had the curls she does. If you’d have still been in our bed when she came along.

Thank you for the minute we had with you. Thank you for the perspective you gave me on what life is.

I don’t know if I believe in an afterlife, but if there is one, you are well met. You have great grandparents who are no doubt loving every minute I’ve missed.

And if there is something after this, I can’t wait to hold you.

Thank you. I love you still.


Pick a You

This is a repost from several years ago, but it’s always been one of my favorites. I suppose I could assign it some grand current significance, but the truth is it’s late, I’m tired, and I was reading through my archives the other night and I remembered how much I liked this post.


It was never my intention to become someone I wouldn’t like.

Growing up in the ditches of red Mississippi mud, I was taught that happiness was a Sunday morning song, a memorized verse, and a pristine pair of white socks encased in patent leather Mary Janes.

I rode the bus home from school, and I remember the smell. Like pee and mud and the back of sweaty little boy necks. I remember the spongy stickiness of the plastic green seats, and the high backs that I used to write on with pencil erasers. The one family of four or five kids who always sat in the first two seats, and who wiped boogers on the backs of the seats…they left a lingering odor in those seats, so even after they got off the bus within the first ten minutes of the ride, no one sat there. No one wanted to smell the wake or look at the boogers. I sat in a seat about ¾ of the way back, and I didn’t talk to many people. I don’t know why.

The first few years of busriding, there was a girl, older than me, named Maria. She had huge hair and lots of makeup and she would write “Turk 182” on the fogged windows on rainy days. I never questioned what she said, what she wore, or why this obviously-in-high-school girl was riding the bus home from school instead of catching a ride with a friend, or even driving herself. I never even spoke to her. Years later, when she showed up at my church on my way out (during my faithless years, when I realized that perhaps the darkly-stained Baptist pews weren’t quite seats on the only passenger train to Heaven), I recognized her. I had wondered about her through the years. She had come into our church on the coattail of her husband, a man who’d made lots of money owning restaurants, taken lots of drugs in the process, and had finally decided to follow Jesus because, you know, that transition makes total sense. He suddenly became a huge spokesman for Jesus around our town and because it’s the thing that Jesus’ spokesmen do, where ever he happened to be, there she was. Maria would be sitting beside him in the folded-hand smiling Baptist wife position, and I often wondered if the Maria from the bus – the one who smacked her gum and smeared on frosted pink Bonne Bell gloss – still existed, and if she did, what did she think of Smiling Wife Maria? Is that who she dreamed of becoming? Was that what those days on the bus were leading to? What steps did she take to reserve this position for herself?

I wonder if she liked who she was then, and then who she became. She couldn’t have liked them both.

In case of the Zombie Apocalypse

So, I just finished The Walking Dead comics. Well, I got up to date on them, anyway. The next one comes out at the end of this month.

And here’s the thing. Out of all the (as far as I know) unrealistic events and fantastic scenarios, a couple of things kind of niggled (oh no, autocorrect, not jiggled. I said NIGGLED and I meant it) at me.

First of all, we’re all beasts at heart. Really. We bathe and corset and spray ourselves into thinking we’re somehow above the very basest human animal parts, but throw us into hopelessness for a bit and it gets REAL real quick.

Secondly and what’s gotten to me the most, is you can never really know anyone. Like KNOW them know them.

Don’t give me the soulmate true love bs. I’d bet my right leg and my left arm that Sweetie Pie has ten thousand thoughts a day that would shock and astound you.

The thing is, now that I’ve decided it’s really true, you can never really know anyone, it’s kind of scary. And by scary I mean petrifying, horrifying, poop your pants kind of fear.

Because the thing is, with that kind of uncertainty, you have to trust.

Trust that Sweetie Pie won’t strangle you in your sleep.
Or have another family.
Leave you to the zombies.
Tell your secrets.
Close the church doors and leave you to the madness.

And I don’t know anyone with that kind of trust.

I suppose all we can do, at the end of our ability, is to give up and learn that maybe trust is the best hope we have to be happy.

Although I really think prenuptial agreements should begin to somehow integrate undead protection clauses.

This is probably offensive

As many of you know, for a while I worked in a church.

It was a great job and I enjoyed the work, and I even enjoyed the liturgical calendar and the specific precise nuances that went along with it all.

I grew up in church, too, albeit a different denomination altogether. Basically the only resemblance between the two was the whole Jesus dying on a cross thing.

Anyway, these days the only religion I have is the prayers I send up when Lucy won’t go to sleep at 3 am.

That probably appalls my mother.

This is Holy Week, or it was. It’s pretty much over, seeing as tomorrow is Easter Sunday. I feel pretty much zero desire to honor this Sunday as anything extraordinary, and I’m really not sure why. Chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies don’t offend me at all, and if I’m honest, they’re the best candy of the year.

The entire concept of the church disgusts me. There, I said it. Having been intimately involved in the workings of one of the only truly good churches I’ve ever encountered, I’ve come to the conclusion that Jesus wouldn’t have wanted churches or people to spend so much time focusing on coffee bars, spectacles, and how many people pledge their pocket lining or sign a commitment card.

So that’s something, that’s an issue. People are fickle and hypocritical and….well, human.

The Baptipalian in me wants to answer that statement with, “but you can’t lump God in with the way people behave, people are fallible and hey hey that’s what Jesus was for.”

But shouldn’t something stand out? If being churchly and holyish is such a wonderful thing, then how come church gatherings are significantly more stressful and obligated than going to the new Harry Potter movie?

I know that there are cool, fun, happening churches/worship centers. And hey, if that’s what you go for, great.

I just don’t see being Godly and good as something that has to go along with a church setting.

If I want to worship, I can be quiet and contemplative in my backyard. As a matter of fact, I think that’s what Jesus might do.