I have a number of unfinished poems in my notebooks that I wish were in shareable condition. But they aren’t, so I can’t share them (yet). But there is a poem that is I want… More
Shhh! Be quiet!
Don’t let your voice be heard!
Don’t disrupt my bliss
by pointing out
that your house is on fire.
Don’t tell me about the arsonist
we both witnessed lighting the fire.
Hearing such horrible news
stresses me out!
Tell me what you plan to
make for dinner.
Show me a basket of kittens.
Pull up a chair,
pour yourself a class of wine,
and let me tell you how much money
I lost in the stock market
when that law abiding citizen
set your house on fire.
Hush now! Be quiet!
Don’t speak at all!
If you pretend nothing is wrong,
that burned out
shell of a home you have left
will seem quite luxurious.
You really should do something
about that, though.
It’s pulling down the value
of my home.
Shhh!! Be quiet!!
As a matter of fact,
why don’t you just
Photo source: https://leithincluan.wordpress.com/tag/derailing/
Say it to my soul, if you really mean it. Don’t just let the words carelessly pass over your lips. Let those words bubble up, and flow, and cascade, like water over the falls. Don’t hold back…
Source: If You Love Me
If you know about me, you know that (like many women) I lust after Idris Elba. Me and my cyber girlfriends fight over him like a bunch of schoolgirls all the time. (Seriously, he doesn’t even know we exist. We’re not even friend-zoned. We’re fan-zoned!!) The competition to be his imaginary boo has been increased by his latest promotion to win a date with him. (It’s a great cause – raising funds to help educate girls in Africa. Contribute if you can!)
I reposted a video of my future-baby-daddy consulting the experts on how to make our date special, and one of my girlfriends asked if I’d put my name in for consideration. I just tossed my name in the ring (but could still use a few sponsors). But her question inspired me to write a poem about what a date with Idris would be like. Fellow writer Elisabeth Velasquez inspired the cinquain format. (Check her out!! She’s AWESOME!)
On fluffy clouds of joy
My Valentine’s Day date and I.
Photo credit: Tina Franklin
The challenge ends today. This was intense, but well worth it! A brief battle with the immune system took me out this weekend, but I’m back! Today’s post is a recap of all the posts I’ve written for this challenge. I’ve placed a star beside each of my particular favorites. Feel free to back blog, like, and comment!
- Happy New Year!
- Writing is Easy
- One More Time**
- The Move
- Due to Inclement Weather
- Snowy Road Ahead
- The Well
- Broken Hearted**
- There is Always One More Time
- Breaks and Breathing Room
- Out of Time**
- The Situation***
- Why Loving You is Killing Me**
- Lucid Moments***
- I Wish I’d Thought of That**
- 1000 Words***
- Behind the Scenes
- It was a Dark and Stormy Night
- The Story of Ten***
- Untitled #012617**
My name is Hortensia Louisa Broadway. Close family and friends calls me Ten. My seventy-five year old mother lives with me. She is suffering from Alzheimer’s, and I am her caretaker. Since I take care of her, I don’t have time to take care of myself. I know. It sounds like a cop-out, but I really don’t. I don’t work so I can go on vacations, or have nights out on the town with my friends and maybe meet a nice guy. No, I work and schedule my time and finances around caring for mama.
I watch a little more of her slip away, day by day. One minute, she knows my name and that I’m her daughter. The next minute, she’s telling me to get out of her house – my house – or she’s going to call the cops. Sometimes, I can make light of her outbursts. Most times, it absolutely shatters me.
It would be nice to be one of those women who have a meltdown and goes traveling to a foreign country to do yoga and find herself, or go hiking in the dead of winter and lose a few toes to frostbite, just for a change of scenery and spiritual enlightenment. But I can’t afford that life. I stay up all night to make sure mama doesn’t leave the house and get lost.
My workday starts at 11 pm and ends at noon. The nurse shows up at 7am to tend to mama. I sleep between noonish and 6pm, while the nurse is there. This is my life, seven days a week.
While I long for the future, mama lives in the past. Most of the time, it sounds like a happy place. Then there are the days she goes room by room, calling for him, the one that got away, only to end up on the living room floor crying for Winston. He was her first love. She loves the man who broke her heart more than she ever loved daddy. I think daddy knew it, too. He loved mama the way mama loved Winston. I remember the last thing my father said to her. He said, “Honey, I love you more than all the sand, on all the beaches.” She said, “I’ll see you when you come out of surgery, baby.” He didn’t survive the surgery.
When I was about fifteen years old, she told me she married my father because she didn’t want to be lonely, but that she grew to love him over time. But, Winston would always have a special place in her heart. There are some things a fifteen year old doesn’t need to know.
Shortly after daddy’s death, she went searching for Winston. She found out from a mutual friend that he married the woman he’d left mama for, and they had seven kids. All girls. He’d passed away the year before daddy died. It wasn’t too long after daddy died that I noticed the signs. She’d forget my name, or that she was ever married, even though she still wore her ring. She’d get dressed to go out, but only have her underwear on. After she left food cooking on the stove for the third time while she went out to grocery store to buy something for dinner, her landlord told me she had to go. He begged me to put her into a nursing home.
Sometimes, it’s not clear to me if I resent mama or her illness. But I’m angry that the day I brought her home to live with me, is the day my life stopped. I don’t have any siblings or other close relatives to spilt the responsibility of her care of with. At the same time, I wasn’t ready to put her in a nursing home. So, I deal with this burden and guilt quietly. I save my tears for the moments when I’m alone. But I think it may be time to let her go.
This weekend was a wash. As you notice, there were no blog posts on Saturday and Sunday. I couldn’t pull myself together enough to finish a post. I was mentally tired. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t write anything. I took the time to plan what I would post next (including this). At least one piece will be posted over on Medium, and I’m working out the kinks on the other stories.
So, stay tuned! There is more to come! I’m not done with this blog challenge, yet!
Last May, the official White House photographer, Pete Souza, shared some of his favorite pictures of the Obama family and staff, taken over the last eight years. Some of the images that touched me the most, were the pictures of the president interacting with children. He didn’t just hold and kiss babies for the photo op. He engaged them. He ignored the cameras and got down on their level. He spoke with kids like they were people – because they are people.
There are two pictures that stood out to me the most. Pete Souza didn’t just capture a moment in history. He documented legacy.
Below is a picture of little Clark Reynolds meeting the Barack Obama. This is the first president Clark has ever known, a man that looks like him. He probably doesn’t understand that the man touching his cheek is the first American president of African descent. But for the relative standing behind him, this moment is so much more. She brought Clark to see a possibility that used to be something she didn’t think would happen in her lifetime. They are standing in this moment together. Barack Obama gently touching Clark’s cheek seems to say, “You’re next,” and there’s no reason for him to doubt that one day he can be the president when he grows up.
The second picture (below) is one of Souza’s more popular captures. This picture of Jacob Philadelphia was taken in 2009, shortly after Barack Obama took office. Jacob was five years old at the time, and seemed to know there was something peculiar about this particular man being the president. His classmates told him he looked just like the president. He had to investigate this notion. So, when his family visited The Oval Office to take a picture with the president, Jacob took the opportunity to ask the president if their hair felt the same. The president bent down to Jacob’s level and allowed him to touch his hair. This picture could easily be titled, “Are You Real?” At that time, most Americans were still surprised that we really had an African-American president. This image expresses the shock and wonder many of us felt in the days following the 2008 election.
Author Jamila E. Gomez says about this image, “When possibility stands so close, you can literally touch it. And it looks and feels just like you.”
I couldn’t have said it better.