Fifty year drought


I had a baby.

Her name didn’t/doesn’t matter.

She lay in her stroller with her arms outstretched.

I smiled down at her, cooing gentle words of love.

I swaddled her a bit tighter against the chill.

As each car passed on the nearly vacant street,

I’d sing a little louder so they’d know I was a mom.

It’s all I ever wanted to be.


The MMR wasn’t created when I was born.

When my brother came along and got his,

nobody thought to inoculate me.

At twelve years old, my throat and neck hurt so badly.

My mom gave me a dill pickle (LOVE THEM) but I couldn’t swallow.

Diagnosis: The mumps.

Aged and married: Clomid, Pergonal, temperatures, acne, painful periods,

nothing. nothing. nothing.

Failed adoption. Ectopic miscarriage, failed adoption


Rejected for violence. Rejected for drugs.

nothing. nothing. nothing.



You can’t possibly know how many times I’ve been gracious,

how many times I’ve oohed and aah-ed over black gray blobs

What it’s like to see beautiful mothers holding their beautiful babies

while my arms hold back my sadness, my longing, my relief.

I’m not resentful that they have my dreams wrapped in their love.

I’m not angry that their wishes came true. I’m not even upset.



Am I less than a woman for not showing proof of fertility?

Am I less than a woman for my body’s refusal to carry life?

I feel betrayed each time blood flows from my barren womb.

All of the pain, emotions, heating pads, and carb stuffing…for what?

Another reminder that I’m not like the others. Another storm trooper miss.



Leaked Material

I approached the advertising door that beckoned liquid promises from within the belching bowels of the aged establishment. The sign above the door used to have a name emblazoned on it, but the only clear remaining word is BAR in crinkled red letters. I pulled open the squalling door, pushed past the sour scent of drunken spills.

Rusty people wilted in the semi-dark while they sat on uncomfortably broken dreams that smell faintly of piss, farts, and painful yesterdays. I tucked into one of the two booths in the corner which garnered an eye roll from the overweight but still attractive bartender. Her bleached blonde hair required a touch less hairspray and a bit more dye. She rested her cigarette on the edge of the ashtray she shared with a hunched old man in graying overalls. He blended in with the dust as if he purposefully wore camouflage to hide from himself in the large mirror he sat across from.

“What’ll it be, sweetheart?” She asked with red lipstick staining her front tooth but not her lips. There is evidence of why on her cup and on the filter of her temporarily left behind addiction. She half attempted a smile.

“Beer, whatever you have on tap.” I reply as I skinned my coat from my shoulders. “And a bag of those chips.” I pointed at the display behind the bar.

“Honey, you don’t want those. I’ve worked here for twelve years and those have never been changed. In fact, I don’t think we’ve ever sold a one in here, ain’t that right, Bob?” She called over her shoulder. Bob takes a drag of his cigarette in reply. “I’ll just get you a beer.” She sauntered away.

Neon colored misspelled signs flicker reminders that hope comes in brown bottles and icy mugs of temporary happiness. A middle aged business man at the far end of the bar tapped a cigarette from the pack on the bar in front of him. He punctuated his inhale of the silver blue smoke with a cough; a slow suicide sparked to life with a touch of fiery death.

A pair of younger men, blue collar workers discussed the murmur of sports flailing in the air. The scores trickle across the screen with occasional hoots from the duo. The only thing that changes in their conversation are the names of the players and scores depending on the season.

The bartender slings a double shot down to the businessman, tops off the sports duos mugs, cracks a bottle of cheap beer for Bob, delivers a frothy mug of ale to my table which she rests on a cardboard coaster with the worn face of a woman holding mugs. I pay for the beer, give a generous tip so she wouldn’t roll her eyes at me any more, and settled back in the booth to wait.

Take up Space

Do not wad your spirit up in a crumpled ball to be tucked away or discarded. Spread out your body to relish the wrinkles of wisdom topped off with your star shine luminosity. Smooth back the night to raise the powerful roots that feed your soul with your destiny.

You weren’t meant to shy away from your glory, you were born to glitter wildly, bubble fruitfully, and bloom in magnificence like those before you. There are no boundaries beneath your feet, only your path.

You were meant to be loud; to take up the space stolen from you by those who fear your wealth of experience and wisdom. They use old, crone, bitch, or other words to describe those who embrace their true nature with delighted abandon. Those are words that mean survivor, wise, and assertive. Those words are meant to keep you small, withered, starving for approval. You own their power.

You do not require permission to explode with color, dance joyfully wherever/whenever you please, or to laugh until your eyes leak. You were born for this. I can’t wait to be a wild woman with you!


I catch glimpses of you

A shoulder, a curl, a breath too late

Your voice, your giggle, your words are out of phase

Caught between then and now

The period of absence bloody birthed

Stolen flesh from my bone littered closet

Sweaty puddles of youthful immortality

Repugnant realization of lost redemption

The battle is held with mild reservation

Weary from our lack of alignment


How is it possible to hug a knife?

Point side to heart side

Words offering unity while quick to slice

Dividing us vs. them; we against pride

Fervent assurances that the blood is blue

While rejection, ostracism, and denial ring true

Nobody lives here. Nobody dares

Return away, retreat a way over there

There is no inclusion, no balance be found

Teetered the toddler, we all fall down

Two Strips of String Cheese


There have been many times in my life where I’ve been food insecure for whatever reason. [Couch surfing, ditching an abusive husband, barely making ends meet with 12 hour days] By default, I find myself counting and re-counting the dollars I have to spend at the grocery store. I’m hyper aware when dollars go missing from my pocket.

At the grocery store this evening, as I browsed the produce section, I noticed a young man whom looked a LOT like my friend Rocky. Hair, gait, style of clothing, even the way he was talking aloud to himself reminded me of Seabuurd. He also looked quite distraught.

“Are you okay? You seem upset.” I asked.

“Yeah, I just…I just lost $10 somewhere on the floor. I’m retracing my steps.” he replied.

“Well I sure hope you find it.” I continued on my way giving a short glance around the area hoping I’d be the hero that found the missing currency.

A few aisles later, I see the young man again.

“Any luck?”

“No. Someone probably found it already. I really needed that.” He fruitlessly searched the barren floor.

“I’ll keep a look out.”


I checked my pocket where I only had $7 left until Friday evening. I decided if I saw him again, I’d give him the dollars. I headed to the pharmacy area to see if they had an OTC sling to put my arm in because my shoulder is really jacked up right now. As I searched the pharmacy shelves, I heard a loud ruckus coming from the checkout part of the store.

Three women were taunting the young man with the $10 they found in the aisle. At first he started to explain himself, but they kept on going. Bragging about their good fortune loud enough to be heard, literally, half-way across the store. The other patrons joined in to defend the young man, but the young women just wouldn’t let it go. Finally, the young man, nearly in tears tells the women that he hopes they get pulled over and have to use his money to pay the fine.

Not finding what I need, I head over to the checkout lane. I select the one with a high school friend of mine as the cashier. As I approach her, I ask what all the noise was about. She tells me the story. While she’s talking I look over my shoulder where the Rocky looking young man is packing his groceries into bags. He’s obviously shook up. I reached into my pocket and gave him my dollars.

“It’s not the full $10 bucks, but it’s closer than you were.” I smile at him. At first he refused, but my high school chum tells him to take it.

“She won’t quit. You’re better off taking it.” She tells him.

“Oh, well do you like string cheese?” He asked me with sincerity. “Here have a piece.”

He gave me a piece which I peeled at the register and we ate together in the middle of the checkout line. “Have the rest of it.”

“Nah, I’m good. I can’t eat too much of that.”

“Please take a couple pieces at least.” He offers them earnestly to me. I accept and put them into my grocery bag. At that moment a tall well-dressed man enters the store, walks up to the young man with his hand extended.

“I approached them in the parking lot and asked for the money back. At first they were all about keeping it, but I told them I’d call the police because they were assholes. They gave it up.” He chuckled richly.

“Aw, man! Thanks, dude!” The young man reached into his pocket, retrieved the dollars I’d given him, attempted to return them to me.

“No. I already gave it to you, they’re yours. You now can pay it forward better.” He looked astonished. He kept telling me what a beautiful human I am. Even as I walked away from the counter he was continuing his praise.

You may or may not believe me about this, but I do stuff like this all the time. I don’t do it for the compliments or praise. I’m not even telling you this story for positive feedback.

I’m telling you that when you do something equally as kind, it spreads like a California wildfire. When you put yourself out there by an act of kindness bigger than the moment, you’re doing what you are born to do. You’re born to shine. You’re born to be the beacon of hope, love, and joy in this ridiculously cruel world. You get to be the hope someone sees by your actions. Like lighting your candle off your neighbor’s at the Christmas eve candlelight service, it spreads love.

Preaching all day long does nothing but give you a sore throat. ACTIVELY living loving is a practice in mindfulness; a revolutionary awareness of the world around you. It is a true mark of courage to be the light in the darkness. It is a badge of honor to set aside some wants you have (like giving up my breakfast tomorrow morning) to give someone else that light. I’ll keep doing what I do, regardless if you follow my lead or not, but we should practice this kind of radical kindness every day.

The denied State

I confess the sins of my father’s life

as it applies to me

I am salty as a pillared Lot’s wife

lost in the desert sea

Tears I weep bear witness brazenly rife

Innocence amputee

Rending the branch with my family tree’s knife