From my poetry notebook…This Ain’t Shakespeare.
She’s beautiful, popular and proud.
Her friends are kids, from just the right crowd.
Look how she laughs, talks and smiles.
Her admirers swarm, as they walk the school tiles.
She looks in the mirror and winks at the image.
Knowing her beauty will win, in any boyfriend scrimmage.
Her clothing is perfect, ensuring that name brand labels appear.
Then tossing them carelessly, when there’s a rip or a tear.
I dare to walk up to her and say, “hello.”
My knees are shaky, trembling out of control.
She looks at me with scorn and contempt.
I feel as though I’ve fallen, and there’s no safety net.
Eyebrow arched, her words like a sword.
I’m not the kind of friend that she’s looking for.
Her laughter rings true, behind my back.
I hide in my locker to stop the tears in their tracks.
But at the end of the day, once her crowd is all gone.
She sits silent and lonely on the bus ride towards home.
Her slender shoulders sag, her head hangs down.
The bus stops at her house, her face wears a frown.
Framed in the doorway is a well-dressed man.
An angry expression on his face, a drink in his hand.
She pauses, walking slowly to the house.
Visibly shrinking into her expensive new blouse.
His loud, angry voice carries to the bus.
She cringes and cowers, afraid of his touch.
I flinch when I see his hand connect with her face.
A flaw upon her beauty that even make-up can’t erase.
I realize I was wrong about the person I thought she was.
How she hides behind an image because of circumstance and cause.
How she likely needs a friend who’ll hold her hand as she cries.
A friend who’ll look past her persona and pride.
A friend who’ll see the terrified child within.
Screaming to move away from those hidden sins.
I may not be the friend that she’s looking for.
But I can be the friend that she needs, so much more.
Excerpt from my book…Mom’s Eye View.
When I was a little girl my biggest fear was the “Monster Under the Bed.” Others may have had the “Monster in the Closet,” but either way the monster was there and definitely something to be feared.
My monster lived under the bed only at night, during the day it was never there. Not when I played hide and seek with my siblings or even when I had to retrieve a toy from under the bed. It only made its presence known in the dark of the night. My imagination conjured up a monster with scales, red, glowing eyes, a mouthful of sharp, jagged teeth and a body that slithered back and forth beneath my bed, with only the box spring and mattress keeping me safe from it.
My sister and I shared the same bed and would scare one another with our silly monster stories. When we had finally worked ourselves up into a whispered state of panic we would huddle in the center of the bed, “our safe place,” and stay as far away from the edges as we possibly could. We wholeheartedly believed that if we got too close to the edge the monster would be able to reach up and grab us with its long, cutting talons; ripping us to shreds in a matter of seconds.
When we got too scared we’d comfort one another and provide each other with enough strength to get us through the night. Upon hearing actual scurrying noises in the walls or in the ceiling, as we did most nights, we never doubted that the noises were the monster duplicating itself over and over in order to surround us and then more easily capture us and turn us into an evening meal.
We never stopped to consider that we lived in old apartment buildings that were notorious for having rat and mice infestations. To us, it was the monster and nothing else.
We’d eventually fall asleep, sticking close to one another, providing one another with comfort and support when our fears were outweighing our common sense.
My sister and I have always been this way though, we stick together and along with my other two sisters, we all can be a formidable force. As we’ve all gotten older and more independent though, we realize we don’t always have to fight each other’s monsters. But it sure is nice knowing that you’ve got someone to cover your back when the monsters decide to sneak up on you.