With A Whimper

Standard

I leave you, not with the slamming of a door
or a plate launched across the room
and shattered on the wall. No raised voice
or underwear and shoes tossed out the window
onto the front lawn. Your car will not be keyed
and the tires will remain unslashed. I won’t storm
into your office and humiliate you in front
of your colleagues by cataloguing your every
weakness or railing about the painful stretches
of awkward silence that often hung between us.

I am not seething or boiling over with rage.
Nor am I undone by you or destroyed
by your unreasonable demands.

But I am worn through, threadbare from brow
to dragging feet. Gone empty of emotion and
entirely depleted of words.

I leave you, National Poetry Writing Month,
humble, hushed, and contrite. Although
you are a meticulous and vexing partner,
I wish I could have offered you more
this time and resented you less.

Day 30

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post truth

Standard

the world has equalized
#MeToo needlessly ruining lives
protect the artists and politicians
as work is more relevant than any dark deeds

the meek shall inherit
everything left
after corporate tax breaks

racism is extinct
every man for himself
pulling hard on those bootstraps
achieves the dream

choice in education
paves the way
to brighter students
versus heavier pockets
for the few

dreamers can dream
all they want
and live anywhere freely
in those wild imaginings

if you die violently
you should have been carrying
unless your skin is black or brown
in which case it is always your fault

the intricacies of female anatomy
are better managed
by those who are most effected
leave it to the wise men

smaller more efficient government
must include consolidating
legislative, judicial, and executive
branches need pruning

opinions are more relevant
and significant than facts
the showman has earned
his time on the boards

this sleeping dog lies

we are free
we are safe
we are happy

Day 29

Dinner With Buddha

Standard

If I could have dinner with Buddha
I’d lay a blanket on the grass
cover it with pillows
and ring it with candles
I’d spend the day baking cookies
and creating a gigantic fruit salad
with mangos, peaches, blueberries, and kiwi
I’d serve ratatouille
and glasses of iced water

After we talked about the weather
the pleasing texture of the nearby grass
on the soft skin of our palms
how the Earth’s ever growing
brightness has limited
our view of universal truths
and how people continue to treat
love and kindness with suspicion
I’d put on some Vampire Weekend
and challenge him to a game
of Cards Against Humanity
to see how he would Eightfold Path
his way through that minefield

Day 26

Absence

Standard

Even treasured earrings
that have fallen behind a dresser
and become thickly coated with dust
eventually rest unseen and forgotten

Just the same
when the loss was first noted
there was acute distress
and frantic action
significant effort was expended
to recover what was missing

The earrings felt irreplaceable
precious
as much for the sentimental association
as actual value

But, eventually
after failing to locate
what was gone
you had to move on
adjust
adapt
figure out alternative adornments

On those days
when you slip into the lilac-colored dress
and instinctively reach for the box
that always held those familiar earrings
which had once paired so perfectly
the absence inflicts fresh pain

Day 25

Sense

Standard

She passed through the gauntlet
of foul smelling men
gathered in an unkept bunch
near the barbershop entrance
the lines of their bodies
radiating hostility
rather than welcome
she looked away and frowned
angled a path behind them
as she hunched her shoulders
and quickened her pace

She had been inclined
to stay her course
as she approached the group
pass directly in front of their cluster
nod her head in greeting
and smile as she moved by
wishing them a good day

But she’d learned long ago
that it is critical
to try and read people
rather than assume anything
by their appearance or scent

As disagreeable as those men appeared
she knew that a freshly showered,
enticingly cologned man
with a winning grin and open arms
could be far more dangerous
than someone whose spooling
string of bad breaks
had brought them to a life
lived on the streets

Day 24

A Fairy Tale Romance

Standard

He coated the stairs with pitch
to trap her if she tried to run
but instead of catching her
he reeled in a high heel

Since he was a prince with a castle
he assumed she’d be flattered
that he liked her so much
he never wanted her to leave

One poor, humble girl
reviled by her family
and befriend only by vermin
could do much worse

If the shoe fits
so will the ring
and the lovely, gilded yoke
of his happy ever ending

Day 23

Obvious

Standard

If the shape of your nipples
is discernible through your shirt
and you are female
you may be called to the principal’s office
made to feel ashamed and humiliated
about what is a natural part of your form

You’ll be questioned
about your choices of undergarments
and forced to explain your personal decisions
regarding underwear

You could be asked to add layers of clothing
even if it is a hot day
or be told you must crisscross
bandaids over your nipples
to mask, well, their nipple-ness

Everybody knows and accepts
that breasts, nipples, shoulder blades,
bellies, hips, and thighs of girls and women
are considered too distracting
in an academic setting

Other students are negatively impacted
other students learning is impaired
by the obvious existence of these body parts

But if you are male
and your sleeveless shirt bags enough
to display some breast
or the shape of your nipples
shows through your tee shirt
or the outline of your penis
is clearly visible against your gym shorts
or your jeans
don’t worry about it

No teacher or adminstrator
would ever want you to feel self conscious
about having a penis at school
even an erect penis
because, well, that just happens sometimes
and no one would want to call attention
to something that is biologically
out of your control
and potentially embarrass you
and damage your self esteem
and sense of self worth
and contribute to a culture
that over sexualizes parts of your body

You would not be asked to add more layers
or put on a cup or cod piece
or duct tape those body parts
into oblivion

Because, that would be ridiculous
as other students are aware
males have those body parts
and while they might give those areas
a quick and guarded glance now and again
they still somehow manage
to learn their academic lessons
as well as learn how to respectfully treat
people with bodies different than their own

Day 22