Thirty Seconds of Terror

I’m not a terribly skittish person—and that’s a really good thing considering that during my 45 years of marriage to Studly Doright I’ve spent a good many nights without him. Between his years working different shifts and then the extensive periods he has had to travel to different locations, I’ve become fairly comfortable on my own. Last night, though, I almost had a complete meltdown.

Studly had just called from somewhere near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to tell me what time he’d be home today. We’d said our good nights and I went about my normal nighttime routine. I’d just turned out the Christmas lights and had begun washing the makeup off my face when the house went dark. And folks, when you live in the forest, dark is DARK. I literally couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.

My mind began racing: What if someone cut the power off to our home? There was that random couple walking down the middle of our street today. But even so, our generator will kick on anytime now. Unless they disabled the generator…

On that last panicky thought the generator did kick in and I went in search of candles just in case I lost power again, I’m not going to lie, it took me a while to relax afterwards. I wonder if I could develop better night vision for any future occurrences. It’d be a great latent super power.

Peace, and light, people!

My brief time in total darkness reminded me of this suspenseful film. I’m not as brave as Ms. Hepburn was.

Darts in the Dark

Darts in the Dark

My time is now spent throwing darts into the dark, hoping that one sticks and makes its mark in the cork.

My aim must be off, maybe, or the target has been moved. I only know that my darts miss their marks

And clatter harmlessly onto the concrete where they’ll remain until the lights are restored. I’m a fool, but not

Inclined to go searching for sharp metal objects in this room, this tomb, where the light is forbidden and my feet bare.

The Fear Gremlin

There are nights when I lie awake, terrified for what the future might hold. Tomorrow is a gremlin crouching in dark 

Corners, his fingers wrapped around all the possibilities. There are madmen in charge of our security: liars and mobsters and

Thieves, that some hailed as saviors. But now, those of us who’ve studied history know we’ve crossed lines that may

Never be uncrossed. Who will save us from the gremlin? Who will pry his bony digits from our lives? Only we can save ourselves.

Because I Can’t Scream in Public

There is a gargoyle living in my gut. His gruesome stone snarl scraping against my colon. The heartburn never ends.

He must have moved in as a pebble, a tiny worry about what could be, and every minute since that shitty November day he’s

Grown more abrasive, more corrosive, taking up too many centimeters of my being. He spits acid from a contorted tongue,

Searing the lining of my duodenum, creating blisters that won’t soon heal. Resistance hurts, but acquiescence kills.

Slow Motion

Like a glacial landslide
Inexorable, inevitable,
One mere inch at a time
The panic grows

Humanity waits alone
At the bottom of the hill,
Daring the drifts to stop
As progress slows.

The cries are anguished,
Circumstances advance
Like a cancer on the skin,
Yet everybody knows.

Keep the tides at bay
Hold the line, tote that bale
Slam shut the heavy doors
While despair feeds the crows.

Who Did You Become?

On 11/9/2016
Who did you become?
A boaster, bragger
instant tagger
c’mon can’t we get
Or a nervous wreck
jumping at shadows
bad dreams of
four long
years to come?
a silenced nightmare
holding back
salty tears of
or an anointer,
bring it on,
free the monster
from his

59 Jumpy Street

Victimized, traumatized, taken for a fool, lessons in humility in a world shown cruel.

Innocent turned wary, bold turned meek, peace into conflict, strength became weak.

Now shadows come creeping in broad daylight; making for hesitance, a sad new plight.

Questioning everyone, every look, every move, proceeding with caution; so much to lose.

Fear can paralyze, dehumanize, diminish size. Close your eyes and realize it’s all been lies, 

Or fear can mobilize, energize, exorcise preconceptions in every guise.

Choice. It’s all choice. To go back into the water or to stay on the sand. Hold my towel. I’m going in.

Peace, people!

The Edge

I stopped at the edge of the forest, my feet toeing the line

Between sunlight and shadow, where squirrels scampered

Among crisped leaves, up and around the magnolias. No physical

Barrier barred my way, no fence or wall impeded, yet

My eyes lost focus in the dappling of the light, and I 

Hesitated to stray outside the confines of the civilized

World, where the rose-scented wind had my back. 


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