They never could quite make sense of her. Rarely did her behavior warrant a reprimand and yet she wasn’t quite what they wanted her to be. She was strange. Her essence demanded attention, whether she meant it to or not. Just when they thought they had no use for her, they put her on the stage.
Crayola Crayon & Free Hand
They never could quite make sense of her. Rarely did her behavior warrant a reprimand and yet she wasn’t quite what they wanted her to be. She was strange. Her essence demanded attention, whether she meant it to or not.
Just when they thought they had no use for her, they put her on the stage. Suddenly they cheered for what had once befuddled them. The fire they had fought to extinguish was now a flame they clambered to take credit for igniting. It was a fury that gathered crowds, sold tickets, sparked talk all across town, and so the crowds grew and grew.
To be clear, they still hardly approved of her. How could they approve of what they did not understand? But that which they saw they admired. And they no longer asked her to change.
Even in the most joyous of times, the world can drain a soul. Confusion breeds confusion and I question my mind into tangles. With quiet intention, I scan my life, looking to each set of eyes, hoping for answers.
In the first I see only darkness. Faint circles hang beneath eyes that would be lovely were they not so hollow. They sit in a face of skin that has grown gray and gaunt wanting flesh to soften the harsh lines of cynicism. She is bitter. She is cold. I try to make sense of her words but she speaks only perversion so there is no sense to be made of it. Any comfort I try to offer is promptly rejected, so we sit in silence. I stare longer than I should as her brokenness brings me down. Finally she goes away. Still stung by her envy, I search for another pair of eyes.
With great determination, I move along.
The next eyes are blue, bright yet sad. They are hopeful but they are weary. Tiny pupils filled with fear wishing to be brave. Cheeks rosy, lashes long. A face much prettier than its owner knows. There are moments bright and beautiful
before her, smiles so shining and new, but to her they are
tainted by the clinging past and daunting future.
Loved ones gather around her table warmed by a meal she prepares, but she misses the joy in their laughter as she questions if she got the spices just right. I tell her the food is perfection; she tells me I am wrong. Her dearest calls her lovely but she does not hear him as she wonders what everyone in the room thinks of her. Another flicker of fear lights her eyes and I do not want to look anymore.
I welcome the next eyes for they are familiar and kind. Gray like the skies they were raised under and the sea they grew up beside. He talks while the rest of us listen, smoke in the air by a tree I used to climb. Wisdom walks boldly from a soul that has seen much more than mine. Still, he always speaks plainly, eyes growing humbler with the passing of time. For every betrayal, I see no bitterness. Both pupil and iris are steadfast and grateful, fully loving of life. For every hurt I’ve had, he’s hurt more and every sin I’ve forgiven, he’s forgiven double. When asked how he loves the hateful when they hurt without having the right, he says, “Hurt people hurt people, so be understanding and always be kind.”
My grace may wear thin to the hurtful, but I’ll heal in a matter of time, for as I watch him loving the hateful, he builds up the grace in my eyes.
Eyeing the meat of life.
But savory goes sour when canned and candy coated,
And truth bears a scent far too rich when unfolded.
“Don’t write what you’re thinking. Don’t draw what I’ve said.”
Then have a blank page,
And blank canvas,
But you’ll find even that will offend.
Be my muse so I can write a story about the way you burn toast and leave your socks on the floor. I don’t know if anyone else will think the story is any good, but it will be my favorite. I will write a chapter on how you can’t hold a pitch but I still love to hear you sing, a chapter on your blue car with a rip in the back seat, a chapter about your once red hoodie now fading to pink. You still wear it anyway because you like the way my nose crinkles when you take it off and throw it onto me.
Two chapters will tell about staying up ‘til dawn, laughing at all we’ve left behind. A chapter and a half to show that I was wrong when I ran away, wasting my time.
A page to retell how I knew you unequivocally, but only as a child when we went frog hunting in the pond.
A paragraph for your favorite book, which you read five times in the seventh grade.
A sentence for the tattoo you regret.
A word for when you close your eyes.
The story isn’t being paced quite right. Authors cringe and editors turn me away but I just keep writing because it reminds me of you and I never want you to go away.
So another chapter about when we debate never-ending subjects in the sunshine.
Two more about fist fights with your cousins in the snow.
Another about baking Angel Food Cake just so you could throw flour in my hair.
Then another for the laughter that sang from the ground up as I watched you get stuck in our favorite tree.
One more about scotch by the riverside.
Be my muse and I’ll write it all down.
Arms length doesn’t mean you get to
break my bones to get closer to me.
Have you ever felt your neck
pop as your head hits the floor?
One kiss doesn’t mean you get to
rip out every breath that I breath.
Have you ever felt your spine
ache from all the nights before?
Silence isn’t yes when
I’m afraid to tell you no.
Have you ever missed another hurt
who hurt less than today?
“I don’t want you” isn’t code for
“Never let me go.”
Have you ever felt another’s sin
and shouldered all the shame?