Apologies. Yesterday, I was unable to submit anything for the OctPoWriMo prompt because I ended up having to wear an eye patch on an eye which left my other eye for me to see with…and I am apparently blind as a bat with little depth perception in that eye. I think what may have happened is that while I was outside in my backyard some pollen got in my eye (you would not believe the amount of pollen out there right now-it covers everything) and I am apparently very ocularly allergic to pollen. I felt as if the Snow Queen’s mirror had broken and that the shard of glass was in my eye, not Kai’s. (Hans Christian Andersen, not Disney.) Amazing how something so little could cause so much pain. I took allergy meds, washed my eye, flushed it, everything…and I’m happy to say that I am much better today. My eye is tender and red but I don’t feel as if I have a boulder under my eyelid anymore, thank goodness.
Frankly, I’m not particularly upset I missed the prompt. I honestly could not come up with anything. I know there’s a lot of matter on the subject of risk taking but I just wasn’t feeling it. Instead, today you get two poems. One to make up for yesterday and the one for today’s prompt.
The poem for yesterday was inspired by a dream I had last night where I was walking through a house searching for someone I knew was there but couldn’t find. I woke up and began composing the poem in my head and knew I had to write it down. I am dedicating it to my best friend Tracy and her husband Pete. Pete passed away two years ago this past April. Tracy is doing well but she still has moments of intense loss where everything feels as if it just happened all over again. I don’t know if I captured that sense in my poem but I felt it in my dream. I had the thought of death as an alternate reality where Pete is the one walking through the house, a ghost, unable to affect anything, seeing all the remnants of life, and we are the ones missing from it. And, Tracy, I know you read my blog, and I don’t mean to make you cry. I just want you to know how much I loved Pete, and how much I love you always.
You Were Not There
By Jesi Scott
Last night, I had a dream about you,
But you were not there.
I know it was you I dreamed about because
I felt you all around…
But you were not there.
I walked the rooms you had walked in,
Placing my steps in the same places you did.
I sat in the chairs you sat in
Imagining you reading into the depths of the night.
I laid my body on the couch in just the same spot,
In just the same way, that you did
The cushions had forgotten your shape
And so, I could not feel your body next to mine.
The chairs were hard and cold,
And did not retain the memory of you in them.
The floors had erased your footprints.
You were not there.
When I looked I noticed the relics of your presence:
Old, worn shoes left by the front door
Waiting for you to put them on again,
The book you turned upside down on the last page you had read
Waiting for the caress of your hand on its pages,
The cup you left by the sink, unrinsed,
Waiting for the softness of your lips pressed against its rim-
All of us waiting for your return.
Yet I could not wait forever so I turned away
and opened my eyes eager to see your face…
But you weren’t there.
And I am left,
When I thought about the second prompt, Sting’s Fortress Around Your Heart popped into my head. (Maybe that’s why they call it pop culture?;-) ) I also thought about something Tracy had said to me one day. I was having a bad day and we were texting. I forget what we had originally begun texting about but in the ensuing conversation she told me that I am the type of person who keeps driving down a road filled with potholes and I try to miss them but I can’t miss them all. But when I come to a river that can’t be crossed because the bridge is gone, I find a way to get across and I make sure others can cross as well. Then she went on about how if I were in a pit of snakes (which I’m deathly afraid of-Indiana Jones ain’t got nothin’ on me) I’d be trying to figure a way to get out of the pit while yelling instructions on how to make perfect scones for the Queen’s impending visit to someone looking into the pit. That’s why I love Tracy. She knows me way too well. So, here’s to knowing when to build bridges and when to burn them down.
Sleeping Beauty’s Message
By Jesi Scott
“Then let me build a bridge
For I cannot fill the chasm
And let me set the battlements on fire”
~Sting, Fortress Around Your Heart
You built this castle around me, left me sleeping in our tower bed.
Then out across the drawbridge you rode, broken promises
already falling from your lips. You had dragons to slay and
kingdoms to win, fair maidens to rescue-tell me,
how many damsels in distress rode upon your fine white horse?
Now you return to find the moat dried up and turned into a chasm,
the bridge has been burned and the castle a ruin of stones.
Where is your sleeping princess, oh glorious knight?
What gives your life meaning now?
I’m not a princess that needs to be saved;
I’ve two able hands that know what it means to labor
And I’ve two strong legs that know how to run.
My shoulders have known the yoke of a heavy weight.
Who was it who held the world when it all came crumbling down?
I will not build a bridge, and I cannot fill the chasm,
It was I who destroyed the castle and set it afire.
What does a sleeping princess do when she awakes?
She learns to take care of herself.