Compost

Lay me down on a bed of pine needles

Remove my clothing, piece by piece

Place twigs and moss in my hair

And put daisies on my eyes

Evoke the spirits of the trees

Invite my ancestors to be in attendance

Sing from a place within you that has no name

Leave me knowing I am free now

Let my body return to the earth

Mingle with the leaves and the forest life

Know me, leaving, that I am everywhere

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: evoke

Viable

Mightn’t I just lay down now

I’m so tired

Passed bone-weary last year

Let me just go to sleep

And never waken

Wish my beloveds a sweet farewell

There’s never been a moment of peace

I think I’ve earned some at this point

Maybe this has all been a random experiment

And my cell, never one that was expected to live

Maybe I beat the odds having come this far anyway

Maybe the Universe will sigh a sigh of relief when I let go

Maybe

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: viable

Inheritance

I hear their screams of silent disapproval

Feel their arms, clutching me, holding me back

“Don’t go out there. You’ll die. It’s not safe for us.”

My belly’s a stone

Ingested before I was born

I’ve tried to throw it up

Doesn’t budge, it’s mine now

I carry it with me

This inheritance

This heavy key to the past

This memorial to those before me

This museum housing their lives’ dreams and losses

Maybe it’s not something to pass

Like a kidney stone

Or to be removed like a cancerous growth

Perhaps I need only to lovingly lay it down

At the feet of those whose dreams I am now living

Perhaps their burdens are not mine to carry

But mine just to remember, and know

As I move forward into my own life’s dreams and losses

To be remembered, one day, and known

By those who come behind me

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: inheritance

Color Guard

“Don’t varnish the truth, darling,” she said to no one in particular as she resolutely declined to add more lipstick color to her lips. She could plainly see the little telltale lines above her upper lip and the way the bright red color she had favored in her youth now bled off into the tiny trenches, and with that, she was done with reds. It would be pinks and faint corals from now on, until the day when even those colors would need to be retired.

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: varnish

Easy Go

Before I’d even had a serious love affair, there were things I seemed to understand about them anyway.

There were songs about breakups that for whatever reason captured my imagination and moved my emotions. My heart knew what they were about.

One that really resonated with me then, and still today, is a little known song “Tell Me on a Sunday” from the musical “Song and Dance,” with lyrics by Don Black and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The musical is not great, and it’s not a great song musically (sorry, Mr. Webber,) but what the song says is lovely, and it always comes to me when I think about how difficult it is to end something that was once beautiful.

Tell Me on a Sunday

Don’t write a letter when you want to leave

Don’t call me at 3 a.m. from a friend’s apartment

I’d like to choose how I hear the news

Take me to a park that’s covered with trees

Tell me on a Sunday please

Let me down easy

No big song and dance

No long faces, no long looks

No deep conversation

I know the way we should spend that day

Take me to a zoo that’s got chimpanzees

Tell me on a Sunday please

Don’t want to know who’s to blame

It won’t help knowing

Don’t want to fight day and night

Bad enough you’re going

Don’t leave in silence with no word at all

Don’t get drunk and slam the door

That’s no way to end this

I know how I want you to say goodbye

Find a circus ring with a flying trapeze

Tell me on a Sunday please

Don’t want to fight day and night

Bad enough you’re going

Don’t leave in silence with no word at all

Don’t get drunk and slam the door

That’s no way to end this

I know how I want you to say goodbye

Don’t run off in the pouring rain

Don’t call me as they call your plane

Take the hurt out of all the pain

Take me to a park that’s covered with trees

Tell me on a Sunday please

Here’s a nicely acted version by Marti Webb:

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: zoo

Exhalation

How can I release this grip

This clinging on to everything good

As if my life depended on it

It feels so dangerous to release

All that I’m attempting to control

It is exhausting to hold on so tight

But it’s all I’ve ever known

Learned early to clutch and grasp

At what little good was parsed my way

If I loosen my fingers, if I let go my grip

Will I slide into the Void

Disappear into Nothingness

Or will I float into better climes

And find out what Life really feels like

 

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: clutch

Ownership

No longer have to trademark my grief

Don’t need the world to see where I was broke

I’ve given myself full attention and love

All I’d held dormant is now woke

 

I’ve befriended it all, found a place in my heart

For what used to have me in tatters

Don’t need you to see it to make it all real

It’s mine now, and that’s all that matters

 

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: trademark