Thursday, September 24, 2015


It’s been a while since I had something for the mic.
It’s been a rough few weeks.
I do think of what I write as therapy
Help that no one else can give me
A little relief --
A release from the memories
One invisible funeral at a time.
But these past two months hurt so bad
my brain couldn’t string words together.

I was just left there
my self help turned to scrabble tiles
spilling across the floor in every direction
under dirty clothes
in moldy cereal bowls
litter boxes that overflowed.

At first I am convinced
the clattery scattery pieces are my teeth.
I have to pick them up
clean them up before someone sees
but my fingers are numb
and I am torn between
throwing up or crying
while all the letters slip away.

I sit on the floor
pretending I can’t see the mess.
I float, still, above it all
on a shot of whiskey
while all the letters and words and muck
sink, swallowed by the sea
and I smile about it all
-- especially my teeth --
because what do I have to worry

about talking anyway?

Friday, September 18, 2015

integrating opposites

I miss hearing you say that you love me.
Muma loves you.
I miss how you’d say flustrated and discomboobulated.
I miss how you’d drive me crazy, laying guilt trips when we’d fight.
I miss how you’d stir your tea, in that chipped mug from your bowling league.
I miss how you’d dance to the radio, and while I flushed with embarrassment you’d just smile and keep on.
I miss how you’d do anything for me, absolutely any labor of love.
Folding laundry. Cooking dinner. Working two jobs. Peeling apples for me when I asked while I ate the castoff skins right off the peeler. Rubbing my back while you watched Monday Night Football. Paying for Catholic school for 12 years. Driving me five hours to college and then turning right around to drive five hours back.
You’d do all things for me, except the one thing that ending up mattering most.

I wanted you there when I got my black belt.
I wanted to walk across that stupid stage for you when I got my Masters in Education.
I wanted to call you when I got the job offer from St. Paul Academy.
I wanted call you, when I didn’t know whether or not to marry Jason.
I wanted you there when I got married in the courthouse.
I wanted to call you and cry when I was scared, when I made the decision to get the divorce.
I wanted to hear you tell me that you loved me.
Muma loves you.
Muma loves you so much.

I miss you so much, muma.
I miss your smell, and the way your arms felt around me, even as I grew tall, and strong on my own.
I miss feeling like everything will be alright, because you can fix anything.
I miss knowing that I always have somewhere to go, and that someone will always love me.
I miss you so much I want to forget that you chose to bury the secrets of child molesters.
I miss you so much, but you chose them over me, over my sisters, and over your granddaughters.
I miss you so much, muma.
But I just can’t.
I can’t forgive you, because I know you’d make the same choices today that you did then.
I don’t think I can ever forgive you, and, I’m pretty sure I will always love you.

I miss you, muma.
I love you so much.

Muma? Amber loves you.