That little girl

That little girl under the table

that little girl under the table

scratching at knees as a mosquito might

pestering annoyingly enough;

but she’s not.

that little girl under the table

she’s not grown out of it

because she never left (even though she did)

Once in anger, once bereft,

grafting failure to achieve

something withered from the roots

Blood, not her blood, embraced her

brought her Polaroids of family blessed

as blissed as deeply remembered it to be

created in Tunes of resonant harmonies

The only home she wasn’t

that little girl under the table

who begged for scraps of affection

but the dogs eat faster, less furiously,

less needy than

that little girl under the table.

The Blessing of Venus

I’ve absolved myself of sin

of treating my body as a man’s

loving whomever I desired

again and again and again.

There is no shame between these thighs.

Sighs the ecstasy of night

Breaks the silence with Goddess song

Venus’ blessing; my kiss prolonged

Beckoning divine delights

There Gathered The Women

Home and Hearth

And yet, in the kitchen,

where life is rebirthed,

there gathered the women

Deep work of the hearth

The water is boiling

the rags have been torn

Love’s labor is roiling

the guides through the storm;

change the only constant

Lachesis sings then

the hist’ry of what was

Clotho the spinner

weaving fates justly caused

Atropos, the shears

ending life at her whim

The Moirai have weaved

The Fates genuine hymns

Dearest Mama 2020

I’ve thought about your chronological timeline of our relationship that you wrote with such attention. I wish I could see it like that. The absence of our relationship during the lean years of our emotional lives burdens me to this day, but not how you may think.

With your guidance, perhaps I’d have avoided some of the pain I endured because I refused your matriarchal wisdom. Without you, I kept myself small so that others, undeserving/saints, could shine their sins/lights through me, the prism child. The magical being you brought into this world. With my life reborn here, you’re not losing me, you’re gifted with the light’s rebirth in my spirit. It burdens me because I couldn’t shine for you like I shine here. Know that in my heart of hearts, I am but a reflection of those around me, and around you, I’m at my most glorious.

You wrote of us breaking apart in our relationship, but Mama, this is how I roll. I realize this with Ben and my marriage. I love that man ridiculously. I wish him not a lick of harm which is why I’m away from him. He couldn’t give me what I needed right now.

This was not personal against you, although I recognize how it could feel that way. Perhaps feeling like you’re not enough to keep my heart. As I stated above, it’s because of you that I felt brave enough to step out into the world. It’s because of you, I felt the confidence to face my darkest fears. No ordinary person could love like you, my mother, my heart, my love. You make mistakes, but man, so do I.

This, my beloved mother, is how I want you to know I love you. You’re not a saint, but you’re an angel in a meat suit. I think the world of you even when you’re doing what I call mundane things. Things I’ve seen you both do for a million years; Things that make me want to have a more musical life (like a real musical, not just singing (Hit song quality)). Ones where the true feelings pour out of the mouths of people like you and me in a harmony that is strictly our own. Like the Loon song you sing with Dad, the familiar feel of three-word arguments and ribs with deep gouges from elbows.

Please read this with an open heart so that I can snuggle up inside and feel the safest I ever feel. Allow me to cuddle up against your memories like when we’d watch TV on the couch and I’d get the knee because I was the oldest. How I’d fall asleep on your hip and don’t ever remember waking up. I want to remember how it felt to know I was protected like I feel now.

I know I’m not what you expected or maybe even hoped for. I’m loud, cuss a lot, think nakedly, don’t filter frequently, but I’ve tried so hard not to break your heart or disappoint you. It’s a reason I stayed as long as I did. It’s a damn good reason to stay. That’s not blame, that’s recognition for the truth you showed me through your calming words when I freaked out over stuff that, truly, should never have happened or been said, but there it was and there you were with the dustpan to help me sweep up another mess.

As I sit here in my living room writing this on the computer I’m still paying for, I can’t help but be grateful for the many things you’ve allowed me to achieve with your generosity. You’ve helped me commit to things I was busting buttons proud to do. You helped me realize I’m okay and worth it even when everything went south before I did. I don’t know the right words to express how deeply I adore your generous heart. You are far more trusting of your intuition now that you’re older. I admire the growth I’ve seen since returning as a significantly different person than I knew.

I want this to be a letter that you cherish. If it’s anything but, please let me know. Every intention of these words on the page are to convey to you how very deeply, truly, and completely I adore you.

With deepest devotion, your daughter

Mare Helen

Blueberry Pancakes

I love blueberry pancakes.

the ones my dad makes for me

when I get to spend the night.

They are emotions spread into 6″ rounds

with bubbly edges stained purple.

It’s how he tells me

“You mean so much to me.”

or

“I love you berry much.”

That’s not him, that’s me.

It’s the connection with a father

MY DAD that worked hard

so she wouldn’t have to.

It’s the flavor of buttered syrup

a modicum of sweet drizzled

over bruised blueberries

bubbling more

than some battered fruit

The stacks of his generous heart

tower over the platter

that he places on the table

solid, like him, dependable,

sturdy as stock he stands

I accept his gift as he tells a joke

with the punchline

strategically placed

in middle the middle

Diamond and Pearl

For only one as rare as this could be uniquely pure.

The diamond attended to the pearl

born magic in a mundane world

The truth made in error,

filled hearts with deep terror

As the sapphire dismantled the girl

The pearl cast herself before swine

which caused her to cross a line

Denying her birth

she refused her worth

She ran til she unhinged her mind

The diamond polished the pearl

comforted the horrified girl

No longer in error

soothed away terror

Returning her holy to the world.

These Are My People: Lorraine Couch

Lorraine the Warrior Queen, multi-media, canvas SOLD

Pull up a pew, step up to the pulpit

Church with Lorraine is true; no bullshit

She’ll dip you in baptismal waters

Correct our sons, respect our daughters

She a woman of God fearing faith

a warrior healer with a transcendent face

She kneels to no one and you’d better be true

Because she doesn’t care who you are

but she knows what you do.