A Story In the Air (102018)

i saw him on a Thursday

found out his story was tragic on Friday

knew why on Saturday

his birthday was Tuesday

i didn’t know then

he was beautiful


beautiful boy, what are you running from?

i don’t think he even knows the answer to that question

post-traumatic stress

and the things he can’t forget


i am so sorry

but i am sure they all miss you terribly

i, too, am mentally ill

and i know they’d miss me still


i’m four days older than you

but some things are more the same

we have two sons

we couldn’t make it work

running away doesn’t sound so bad

sometimes things don’t make sense


and i’m desperately trying

to handle your story with care

i am a story-catcher and

a storyteller


beautiful boy, you are not alone

beautiful boy, i wish i could see

you smile


please go home

they’re waiting for you

California will always remember you

but Ohio’s heart breaks

beautiful boy, go

Stepping Stones, part 1

i am fourteen years old. the year is two thousand and four. my mom is away visiting my grandpa. he has cancer. he will not live much longer. i am feeling so alone. i miss my mom. i have already decided not to return to public school this year. it is August. i am sitting alone on the porch. there are no walls; it has not become my bedroom yet. i see a small piece of broken plastic in the dirt. it is sharp. i am sharp; if anyone gets close to me my anger and sadness will cut them. i pick the plastic up. i press it into my flesh, near my knee. i drag it against my skin again and again. i am bleeding. i lie when asked what happened. scraped myself on something. it was an accident.


i am seventeen years old. the year is two thousand and seven. my parents drove me to Burbank. we carried my things up to my third floor dormitory. at some point my dad cries. he does not want me to leave home. he has held on too tightly and i’ve been afraid to leave because i don’t want to break his heart. but at the same time i am angry at him because i want to be allowed to spread my wings and fly. i want to stop being his emotional crutch.


i am eighteen years old. the year is two thousand and eight. i meet a boy. he is really sweet. i tell myself i do not want a boyfriend. i want to be just friends with this boy. in a week’s time he will be my boyfriend.


Tell me about him.
He was sixteen once,
but then again, maybe he’s only ever been
He loves motorcycles.
And women,
three women.
One me.
Ink under skin, all over.
Vaguely remember owls,
screech owls.
the taste of tobacco on his lips.
The scent of bourbon
as he exhales into my hair.
Rough hands rest gently
on me.
A motorcycle accident,
I lived it a thousand times
before it ever happened.
“You hungry?” and “How are you?”
Whispers in the middle of the night
between arms
that keep holding on.
Promises to our children
that we’ll do the best we can
and then try to do better,
and those same promises
are for me too.
He’s twenty-five, a good man.

i forgive you…

i forgive you for being angry at her
i forgive you for gossiping about her
i forgive you for assuming things about her
i know you forget that you don’t really know her

i forgive you for not always loving R
i forgive you for sometimes hating R
i forgive you for not trying harder
i forgive you for giving up on me
i forgive you for not always loving me

i forgive you for not being a good mom
i forgive you for resenting your children
i forgive you for wishing you weren’t a mom
i forgive you for hitting J
i forgive you for neglecting T

i forgive you for blaming R
i forgive you for thinking it was his fault
i forgive you for being angry at him
i forgive you for struggling to forgive him

i forgive you for hating your hometown
i forgive you for talking badly about your father
i forgive you for not feeling attached to him
i forgive you for thinking badly about your mother

i forgive you for your suicidal thoughts
i forgive you for your dreams of running away
i forgive you for your need for attention
i forgive you for your flirting
i forgive you for your asocial behavior

i forgive you

i could go on all night
forgiving you
could spend the rest of my life
forgiving you

forgiving myself

daisy chain and hairpins

some say the drive takes an hour
but i know you can make it
in just thirty minutes
because you did it
at 1 something in the morning
i was yelling from the bathroom
telling it you it was time to go
you memorized every hairpin turn
and knew just how fast
to take them and still be safe
but today i head up the mountain
because i finally got invited
to hang with the siblings
and i wonder how long it will take
for us to reach
our destination

In response to Reach.

five years from now…/080816 (Everyday Inspiration, Day 20)

What will I be doing five years from now? As far as writing goes, I know I will still be writing because I’ve always written, but I don’t know if I’ll be writing as much or as often as I do now or if I will still be posting on my blog. I hope I do continue on with my blog, but I’ve abandoned blogs in the past and I’m not sure if I’ll continue my pattern. As far as life in general, I will be 31 going on 32 in five years, which is the age of one of my brothers currently. He and I are five years and one week apart. I often wonder if it was weird for him that seven days after his fifth birthday his mom went to the hospital and came home a few days later with a baby sister. I am sitting at the kitchen table of my oldest sister, I hope I will spend many more moments at this table during the next five years. I hope I will spend many hours during the next five years with my nephew who isn’t born yet, five years from now he will be 4 years old anticipating his fifth birthday, the same as my oldest son presently. Five years from now J will be nine years old and T will be seven years old. Five years from now I don’t even know where I might be living, whether I will still be single, if I’ll be teaching, if I’ll have a college degree, or if I’ll still be taking classes. But tonight, I’m not gonna worry about it. Let tomorrow worry about its own self.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. -Matthew 6:34 NKJV

still waiting

Normally I wouldn’t share something from my Facebook account, but one that just popped on the “On This Day” app is feeling very relevant today. Two years ago this is what I posted on Facebook:

“I believe in true love. Sometimes it’s small and gentle, other times it’s gigantic and intense, at times it gets misplaced and you’re scared it’s gone, but maybe it’s really always there and you can never shake the feeling you have for that person; true love never fails, it waits, it weathers every storm. I will wait, call me an idiot, but I’ll wait.”

This is about R, of course. He picked the boys up today because I had a family thing. He wasn’t in a rush and was totally cool with the fact that the kids were soaking wet and dirty. He shook my brother’s hand, said hey to my nephew, asked about my other brother’s truck, talked about having leftover Christmas candy. We made “small talk” for longer than we usually do. We asked a little about each other’s families and talked about upcoming events. Today was an easy interaction with R, ridiculously easy, to the point where I do not know why we’re not together. Oh wait, yes I do know: he has a girlfriend/fiance. I truly believe that if he was not with her, he and I would have a real chance at being a couple again. Regardless of the crushes I’ve had and regardless of what happened with C, I still love R and I fall in love with R basically ever time I see him and sometimes a text is enough to hook me back in. R is my true love and I’ll hold out for him for the rest of my life.