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Work In Progress

Mom. Writer. Teacher. Student. Millennial.

Wet Sand

What if I walked down the stairs and across the parking lot. Through the hwy 90 traffic. What if I let my bare feet sink into the wet sand, before letting them trail a slow line of prints all the way down to the agitated shore.

What if the anxious waves were washing over my toes when I slipped the restrictions from my legs and freed my breasts from their cage. What if I took a deep breath of thick, salt air before walking headstrong into the restless sea.

What if I walked until my toes couldn’t reach?

Until I was so far away that the self-absorbed cars were mere memories.

What if I swam until the sound of the surf became the beat of my heart

and my lungs exploded from the breathing it in?

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Waterspouts

I wonder what it’d be like

To jump into the angry sea.

Water spouts above my head

And sucks me down below my feet.

What is it about the grumpy sky

So grey and foreboding

That begs me to open up my heart and arms

To hold him.

The siren song of the ominous horizon lures me into the waves,

As if what ails his stormy soul

Could be soothed by my grace.

Rabbits in the Park

It was hot for early summer. Schools weren’t out yet, and it was before noon, but already a persistent band of perspiration beaded at my son’s hairline. I had pushed him to the park in a little blue pick-up truck with a handle and removable floorboard for Flintstones-style riding once he got a little bigger; but for now he was “mommy’s leg workout”. It was only a few blocks from our house; and, since it was the middle of the week and not-quite-summer, we could enjoy relatively nice weather in relative peace. After a relaxing ride, he was ready to explore and I was ready to catch my breath.

We had the place near to ourselves, save for one family. As I hovered around the edge of the woodchips, recovering from our trek, Weston fearlessly toddled up to the most adorable little dark-eyed girl. Her deep brown pig-tails bounced as she twisted and pulled at the wheels on the jungle gym wall. She looked like she was having a good time, and I understood why he wanted to join. I was trying to find that park sweet-spot. You know, the perfect place in-between the too-near helicopter and the negligently distant. I was comforted when I noticed the girl’s mother had assumed a position at a similar distance.

I tried to initiate polite conversation, but I soon noticed that her eyes would only glance over to me for the briefest of moments before darting away. She watched the girl closely, who was busy showing my blonde boy how the flag waved when the wheel was turned. The quiet mother’s eyes flicked between the toddlers and the larger gym a few feet away where a man played chase with two older children. She did that until, seemingly by accident, her eyes fell on me. She smiled politely, and made to avert them but I hastily nodded to the children, said, “They are adorable,” and tried to make my smile warm. But it was no good.

She nodded her head a bit, and returned my smile, but her eyes skittered away from me, toward the man, the girl, back to me, away again. Her discomfort was controlled, but apparent. I had heard her husband talking with the kids as they played. I recognized the language, though I understood none of it. But I didn’t fully understand until I reached out to her.

She was like the rabbits I would try to befriend at my grandma’s house on early summer evenings. No matter how calm and slow and gentle I was, I could not communicate to them that I meant no harm. They would sense my presence and stand stock still, ears twitching and one eye on me as I slowly crept closer. They would appraise me with an air of suspicion until I got too close for comfort, when they would dash back into the safety of the wood and the comfort of those whose creatures who spoke their tongue.

I had never identified with a person who had to live in a world they couldn’t communicate with, but that day on that little park, my son was the only one who would understand me if I spoke, and it was easy, for a moment, to imagine that mother’s reality.

Leaving the Nest

Here I sit on the cusp of my career: proud, excited, ready. And sad. Since he was born I’ve been one thing primarily: his mommy. The majority of my days, my weeks, my time belonged to him. Come Monday that will no longer be so. Come Monday I will enter the final phase of my transition to ‘teacher’. Come Monday my days will no longer be ruled by his nap schedule. The sound track of my life will no longer be his cartoon of the week. I will no longer eat my lunches with him on my lap, and I will no longer chase him around our living room to feed him his. Come Monday I will stop being a stay-at-home mom. I will start being a teacher. And even though I’ve worked so hard to get here, that still breaks my heart a little.

Theory in Technicolor

Theory in Technicolor

Real is the Gardenia’s smell,

simmering in the summer heat.

The salty taste of thick, hot air

wafting off the Mexican Gulf.

The dart of green scuttling across the porch,

 hiding from prying eyes.

 

Some can taste the sound of wind

and dance to the color of rain.

Tiny whispers from the footsteps of droplets

singing secrets to your private brain

 

In and out the sunbeams skip

fluttering behind blue light.

In between the night and day

a silver string pulled tight.

 

Strung out on crack coffee,

like Christmas lights in July,

Being beaten by the hot gulf winds.

Fireflies trying to survive.

 

Theory in Technicolor

On a kaleidoscope computer screen

My eyes lose their footing

And roll across the hardwood floor

 

The moon doesn’t seem so friendly tonight. Perhaps he lost a star. She brought her light down for a beach vacation, and her absence makes him scowl.

 

How sublime a sweetheat beach

when the fireball hangs high,

But I’ll tell you this:

There’s something magic between the sand and moon

that even the pope couldn’t deny.

Transplant

I wonder how you don’t hate us. Transplant. You are not from here. You are not of us. You study us like you would the native animals of a foreign land. Reaching in to help those you can, but I wonder what the rest look like to you. The ones that you can’t save. The ones that drift by.

Ignorantly. Deliberately.

I wonder sometimes, why no one told me sooner. Why everyone in my life intentionally left out key pieces of information. I don’t understand what took me so long. And I’m sick that it did.

But then I wonder if they didn’t tell me, because they didn’t know.

And that makes me even sadder. For me and for them.

Sad for them, because they may never see outside the cave. But sad for me because now I am not of them. I am a transplant. I can’t go back again. I can’t explain the sun in a way they’d understand. And when I try to coax them out, try to show them its brilliance with their own eyes, the stray rays that kiss just inside the threshold are too bright. Too painful. They lash out and flee, back to the dark cave floor and back to their tired, shadow rhetoric.

___________________
It’s almost impossible to see outside of our own ideology. And when we do the process is almost always both painful and revolutionary. Merely acknowledging the limitations of our own world view is the first step, and it’s not an easy one. The second is attempting to confront those limitations and biases, which is excruciatingly uncomfortable at best. It’s no wonder so many cling to the security of the familiar. The sun is blinding and painful; why not cling to the shadows? But enlightenment is worth the pain of personal revolution. It’s worth it to feel yourself grow into a more complete human, and to know that your revolution is something that you achieved, something that is yours, wholly and authentically, and something that can never be taken away.

Tidal Surge

My little sister, yall. ❤

Source: Tidal Surge

Maybe we should travel.

Maybe we should travel.

Not vacations, though I like those too; I mean living abroad. Spend a couple of years at a time living in different places. There are people that do that, it’s a thing. What makes them different from us? Just the fact that they do it and we don’t. But we could.

If I were to get my master’s degree in English education, I bet I could qualify for one of those ‘teach English abroad’ programs. I don’t know which one, but I could find out. And what if I got that minor in French I was thinking about? That would open up our options even more.

We could live in Europe for a few years. France. Germany. Sweden. Wherever really. Why not? While we’re abroad, I could work towards my doctorate. What would you do? If we lived in Europe.

Do we have enough life left for that? Is it too late? Am I too old to want these new things? Is it unfair to make our babies adventure with us?

Do  they need a more stable foundation, or could we be enough?

Spirits

I drink it because I like the taste, so why would I want to disguise it as something else? I’m drinking rum because I like the taste of rum; with a splash of something extra perhaps, but the essence is pure.

Is that why they’re called spirits? Because you can taste the essence of each drink, and each one slips a bit into you as you slip a bit into it. Each Spirit its own. Unique.

Juice ruins that. Soda hides it away.

No no no. I like my Spirits strong. My drinks pure.

Bottoms up.

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