Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing: A Writing Prompt from Anna Beguins

Trigger Warning: violence, sexual abuse

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In my dream, Bette and I had stolen down to Honey Swamp Island to smoke some weed and escape the nightmare that had been our childhood. I’d never been to the island, but in my mind I knew exactly what it looked like. Tall cypress creating a canopy for the canary grass and wild flowers beneath it. I’d also never smoked weed, but I enjoyed the notion of being cool enough to hold the joint between my thumb and forefinger—like the girls in my Latin class. They often snuck away from Sister Bernard Marie and lit up in the bathroom while I was stuck doing verb declension, and promising not to tattle.

When Bette wasn’t in my dream, it was Joe. In my reverie, Joe and I always did more than share a toke, and I often went to bed beckoning the images of him to come visit while I slept.

I was just lighting up when the odor of the swamp and sewer rested upon my lips. As the aroma continue to fill my nose, I started to dream that my chest was being crushed by a feral pig, and I couldn’t breathe. The pig’s tusks lunged at my eyes and the swamp in my nose smelled of Sazerac laced with a heavy cigar. A thick wetness spread across my lips like the ooze of the slime mold that snaked at the bottom of the trees outside my window. I jerked my brain awake and leaped out of the deepest corridors of sleep with my fists raised.

“Hey now, Jax, you don’t wanna wake nobody up.”

The dirty bastard reeked of money; Garden District, invitation-only, Hurricane party-money. But I knew better. Even at seventeen, I could see the grime and smell the residue of a wicked man barely hidden beneath the three-piece suit stretched to the limits at its buttons.

Mama said she felt sorry for him after his wife died, but the town knew she let him stay because he was our one source of income, and a ticket into a decent parish school. She wasn’t about to walk away from an extra dime or two, and he wasn’t going to turn down a female offering sex for a little spending money.

The rank man leered at me from a kneeling vantage-point on my bed. The single tuft of red hair on his head was messy and even in the dark, I could see the slick of fried chicken grease in his pork chop sideburns. My fingernails dug into my palms as I looked around for my youngest sister who usually shared my bed.

“Where’s Mason?”

He backed off the bed, and pulled a chair over from the desk. He flipped the back so that he could straddle the chair and face me. In the moonlight, I could see that his pants were undone, though he could have busted out of them, I wasn’t sure.

“She’s at the house with Millie and Gigi.”

Sleeping in the shack off the main house was always a risk, so at least I knew Mason was in a safer place than myself. Mama and Aunt Millie were two formidable woman, so it was no surprise that he chose the younger, more vulnerable Seydoux females to harass. He said he’d kill all three of us if we ever said anything.

“And you, Miss Jackson, I’d make you watch first. All of it.”

I’d attempted to tell Aunt Millie before, but she wasn’t a very good listener. Millie had her personal skeletons, and my half-confessions stirred painful old bones buried in the locked chest at the foot of her bed.

I’d inherited Millie’s willowy frame and pale blue eyes, and unfortunately, not a lick of her temper. “She could start an argument in an empty house,” goes one Southern expression, and that about described Aunt Millie to a tee. She even taught me to curse in Cajun, hoping she could get a rise out of me.  “Little warbler,” she often called me, because I could set off a string of four letters and make it sound like I was singing Amazing Grace to the Sunday congregation.

The first time it had happened, I was just trying to be polite to Mama’s new boyfriend. I thought he was confused and making a mistake. I didn’t want to make him mad, so I endured and cried myself to sleep after saying three Rosaries.

Over the years, I’d learned to fight back, because the sin of teenage pregnancy outweighed my fear of this old couillon (coo-yaw), “Leave me the fuck alone,” I said between my teeth as I gathered the dirty sheets around my body. The word felt good on my tongue, and I made a mental note to use it again as needed.

Mama wasn’t much for housekeeping in those days, so I could feel my stomach churn with disgust as I continued to smell the swamp and liquor in his pores mixed with the dried blood and sweat on the sheets.

“Your other sister, she keeps a room to herself. If you don’t want to cooperate, I’ll just head over there.” His lips pulled back to reveal yellow teeth, blackened roots thick with chunks of tobacco and half-eaten food.

I screamed and lunged at him. I was a whopping one hundred ten pounds, but the years of fury his abuse had built was enough to knock him onto the corner of the desk. His head made a horrible knock and I could feel the weight of the blow in my teeth. His body went limp, and I watched the blood pour from the back of his skull and pool into the cracks of the peeling linoleum floor. I could taste blood and adrenalin in my mouth as the realization of what I did invaded my body.

“Damn, the head sure bleeds a lot.” The matter-of-fact voice came from the doorway and I lifted my eyes to meet Bette’s –my younger, beautiful, dark-eyed sister with curves that belonged to a woman more than a thirteen-year-old.

“He was getting ready to take his turn with me or go see you. I couldn’t let him do it again. I just couldn’t, Bette.”

She crouched beside me, two teenagers with a highly regarded community member laying highly dead between us. Without words we grabbed arms and legs and dragged him onto the back porch. The grey wood smelled of must and moth balls. My stomach couldn’t take it any more, so I puked all over the ground.

“You never could hold your supper,” Bette said.

I wiped my mouth and looked at the pool of blood mixed with my vomit—almost giddy at the irony of it. The notion that this man, born into linen and freshly pressed privilege would meet his end after crossing an angry swamp rat one too many times.

“What are we gonna do with him, Jax?”

“Gonna bury him. Fetch my car keys, and don’t tell Mama or Millie. I know just the place.”

Huge shout-out to Christy for prompting us over at her site. Go check out this month’s prompts if you want to join the fun! Too short of notice? She’ll share a whole new set for December, too.

I know this is a strange and dirty take on the prompt, but there’s a reason. I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this month, and wanted to be efficient with my time. At first, I didn’t think the prompt would work, but as you can see…I may have just created the ‘inciting event‘ as a result. Jax and Bette have been playing hopscotch in my brain for several years – it’s only fitting that I introduce them to you in private first.

Only 5K more words to make the 50K goal and complete a partial first draft. The novel I have sketched in my head and in hundreds of notes on my desk, is closer to 80K – murder, mystery, sex, lies, and deep-seeded family ties and secrets. People will wonder about my sanity if it ever comes to print. That’s okay…that’ll mean I did my job 🙂

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PS: This piece is highly unedited (wrote in less than 2 hours), and rough on purpose–I don’t do a lot of editing during NaNoWriMo.  Open to suggestions, ideas, and “what ifs.” The idea to murder the rank man came when I read Christy’s prompt. Don’t you love it when that happens?

The Hunter

I was playing in my greenhouse when I heard him call out his question, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI emerged from the shed to find him perched above me in my favorite sycamore. He fixed his orbs on mine with an intensity that fluttered my heart. There was a catch in my chest, and my brain straddled the line between fear and excitement–fight, freeze, or flight.

He doesn’t trust me, even though I only say sweet things. I offer him moles and mice and instead, he takes my bunnies and baby birds. Once, he barreled down and stole a bunny from the underbrush of roses, right at my feet. His barbaric action angered, and then transfixed me.

Who cooks for you?

He ignored my question and then swooped low enough to make me duck, landing in a tree less than ten feet way.

I lifted my eyes back to his and smiled. So you wanna play, little bird?

As soon as I offered, he flew away to find his girlfriend, or wife, or whoever he’s always calling for.

Such a tease, a player, a hunter.  His big, bold body and boisterous questions taking up space in my sycamore or on the garden arbor. His calls stir me from early morning dreams and I search for him when it’s been too many days since we last spoke.

He always comes back. Curious enough to check me out, but not intrigued enough to stay. I try to talk and he pretends to listen, but I know he’s just sizing me up.

Before his next pass,  he calls,  “Are you a predator, or are you prey? ”

I just whisper, “Dear Mr. Owl, it depends on the day.”

Mr. Owl

The Things You Remember

A mint-green cotton dress
With stains on the front
Where the goose knocked you down
And sat on your belly until Mama saved you
It was auntie’s wedding day
And now you were all dirty
And what would people say?
At 4, who gets dirty at 4?

Grandpa leaning down to your ear
Oh! He was a big, wonderful Irish man
Old Spice and pipe tobacco
Lifted his monstrous arm to the sky
He pointed to the soaring hawk
Except you think he said “hog”
With feathers and a screeching cry?
And since when do pigs fly?

White, cable-knit tights
Patent leather shoes
Sunday best, always in a pew
Then to Grandma’s for Sanka and Seven-up
Pink and tan and chocolate Keebler wafers
Sadness–no one ever picked the vanilla
At least not you

The stuffed animals in your bed
How you rotated their proximity to the center
So they could take turns sleeping next to you
You didn’t want anyone to be ignored
On the perimeter
To have hurt feelings
To get cold

You used to wake up in the middle of the night
Frost inside the windows and under
Your fingernails and on your lips
Smothered under a ton of blankets
And a red coat with smelly faux fur
Who wears a coat to bed?
You did
I saw it
I remember it
Like it was me

 

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Inspired at 4 a.m. by a beautiful poem There Will Be Things You Do  by Kim Dower

Born of Bud And Blossom

My friend brings the Spring on a day I needed it the most. Here’s a dose in case you need it, too.

Charissa's Grace Notes

Amongst the thorns so sharp and bristley-bitter
and nestled in the crackley canes and stems so brittle
I sprang from buds clenched tight with fright and gripping
their green possessive cloaks around their high strung hearts
so pink, so red, so soft and velvet fragrant
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The sun pried without mercy, without quarter
and his hot fiery fingers plucked and pulled
and deep inside those shrouding shawls veridian
the pulsing surging petals pushed back hard
and cracked the sticky emerald shells of shame
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To blossom in the air renewed by wand’ring winds
and sway and dance, be wooed by every chance, to bend
low to the ground and then high straining for the heavens
releasing me, the fragrance strong, unquenchable
of grace and beauty, peace and love and joy.
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Yes.  I was born of bud and robust blossom
that fell away and left me hanging here
a kiss upon the cheek of…

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The Sorrows of The Mediocre

If you aren’t reading Melissa yet, you need to be!

What follows is one of my favorite poems of hers yet – I know the ten or so of you who read over here will appreciate her mindful twist 🙂

Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth

Poor poor Ralphie was a man
Who spent his life an also-ran
And though he tried with all his might
The ‘almost perfect but not quite’
Was heard as a nonstop refrain
And soon to be his sad life’s bane

School passed by predictably
With his average solid B
Involved in sports but to his nettle
His room adorned with silver medals
He never made the football team
Or dated the homecoming queen

He settled with a decent gal
But thought her more a sort of pal
Though long of leg and slim of waist
Just something off about her face
And so she joined him for the ride
And she too bridesmaid never bride

And Ralph he wrote though not the best
He cursed his marginal success
At wisdom some found somewhat sage
Though buried on an obscure page
But all that found it surely would
Agree that it…

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Into the Mystic

“Do you believe in magic? Not just in any magic, but the magic in a young girl’s heart, how the music can free her, whenever it starts? . . . I hope you do, because what follows is a story about the magical power of music, memory, and love.”

This was the prelude to the story Christy shared in October on Words for the Weekend. She and Cayman revived our beloved characters Sam and Dave, and suddenly, the story is taking on a life of its own. Jennie created Sam in the very first volume, and we have all fallen in love with her…and the journey.

If you need to get caught up, here are the stories from Jennie, Cayman, and Christy in order of publication.

Volume 16; The Day the World Went Away
Volume 43; It’s the End of the World as We Know It
Just Another Day: Signs, Memories, and Bob Marleys
Walking on a Blood Red Moon
The Long Way Home

 After reading Walking on a Blood Red Moon, I wanted to know more about Rebecca. What follows is my entry into the lovely madness.

*****

Into the Mystic

These mortal lullabies of pain
May bind a book, may line a box,
May serve to curl a maiden’s locks;
Or when a thousand moons shall wane

~~Lord Alfred Tennyson

I was supposed to be a doctor. Not your average Dr. Prick with a vacation home and a shitty bedside manner, but one who was going to save lives. You know, cure cancer, eliminate diabetes and abolish infant mortality.

Even by my unreachable standards, I was a badass. Ivy League sweaters had recruited me before I was out of high school, and I sprinted to Emory University with a full scholarship. The Marta was both a highway to Hell screaming away from a rough, roach-infested childhood, as well as the rail leading to dorm rooms and roommates with daddy issues. After the first semester, the white coats fast-tracked me, and I graduated from med school before my eighteenth birthday. I liked the shiny objects in the lab, and I could dissect a cadaver in my sleep. Like a junkie, I thrived on the adrenalin produced by thirty-six-hour shifts in the ER and a side-gig at the CDC.

The CDC is where I met Jimmy—we shared a hood and a Bunsen burner. Like me, he first-year gunner resident, but that’s where our similarities ended. He was confident, smart, and damned sexy. Larger than life, gregarious with an easy smile and dimples that knocked the sensible shoes off of my feet.

I was in love with him, but too chicken to tell. Love scared the shit of me. You know? And I didn’t want jinx the chemistry. My stomach lurched when his fingers knocked on mine, and I relished catching him map out every inch of my body during morning cardiology rounds. Yeah. Cheesy, like a bad zombie movie. I was a fucking idiot when it came to matters of the heart.

He made my gut hurt when he looked at me in a certain way. Expectant—like he imagined my belly big with his babies. I’m not denying having written his last name next to mine inside a borrowed Grey’s Anatomy textbook. Rebecca Du Maurier. I wanted his ring on my little green finger, but first, I had promises to keep. Cancer was not going to cure itself.

When in doubt, always know your way out.

I’d put on a chastity belt long ago. Not because I’m virtuous, God no! I was cautious and level-headed, but a crazy part of me worried that I’d burn in Hell if I broke that seal. Thou shalt not. Sure, I didn’t mind messing around a little, but it was difficult for me to maintain control when he touched me. During one of our “study sessions,” he peeled off his tee-shirt with such self-confidence that all I could do was stare, and then struggle to keep my perky parts covered. I shook like a stupid little girl, and he liked it.

But, I fought him (and me) and remained a technical virgin until the very end. And the end came too soon.

A woman with a commanding presence and a government badge tried to shoo us lab rats out before things got terrible. She was off to catch a plane, and suggested that we do the same, HICPAC practices be damned.

People scurried out of the air-sealed room leaving only Jimmy and myself. A virus was wiping out the population, and all I could think about was that I was never getting laid. (really?) He would never have the chance to know me. To know that I could have rocked his world. (I would have) That I’d never get to be his missus. (truth)

No matter how desperate the situation seems, time spent thinking clearly is never time wasted.

I left Jimmy slumped over in the isolation room. It sucked, but I had no time to dwell on the Alanis-ish irony. I emptied my backpack and filled it back up with matches, a scalpel, scissors, antibiotics, Neosporin, and a propane torch. I reviewed the discarded stack of books and weighed my options. I ditched Netter’s for Tennyson, and Lippincott’s for Bronte. If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.

Travel light.

A blur of days followed, and I prayed for amnesia. I couldn’t ditch the memory of Jimmy’s terrified, hazel eyes filling the rectangle of the PAPR face cover. He looked at me through the glass, plasma seeping from the lesions all over his body. His hands were splayed across the glass. Like that same bad movie, I matched my fingers to his, pretending that the two-inch barrier didn’t hinder our shared energy. He pleaded for me to leave, so I did. Like a chicken shit.

I grabbed the bag and mentally thanked the Romanesque rowing coach for moving me to the hammer spot mid-season. The training hours paid off as I sprinted through and around parked cars on I-85. Ha! The easiest I had ever been able to navigate through traffic leaving Peachtree at rush hour. The physical exertion provided enough morphine-like endorphins to block the pain of the previous twenty minutes. I didn’t take the time to see the viral effects on the people trapped in their cars. My life-saving innards left their cozy philanthropic cells while self-preservation pervaded every ounce of my lithe body.

Cardio.

At some point, I must have fallen asleep on that first night. Tucked in the underbrush, with an English teacher’s voice in my head.

“Do you know where the wicked go after death?”
“They go to hell.”
“And what is hell?” Can you tell me that?
“A pit full of fire.”
“And should you like to fall into that pit, be to be burned forever?”
“No sir.”“Then what must you do to avoid it?”
I deliberated a moment: my answer when it did come was objectionable. “I must keep in good health, and not die.”

The group I crossed paths with appeared trustworthy, at least at the outset. I liked Dave’s deep-set eyes, and my ancient soul stirred when he spoke to me. He let me lay beside him at night. He thought I was scared and cold, but I just wanted his man’s body next to mine. I have a degree in biochemistry and know the Voo Doo response a woman’s body has. Fucking oxytocin. He made me miss Jimmy. The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.

Dave waxed on about Buddha, but I could tell that his words belonged to someone else—someone decidedly feminine.  I heard his breath hitch when I flung my unruly hair around my head and pretended to strike a tree pose. It was my first attempt at levity after I’d abandoned Jimmy. Dave’s eyes saw me for a moment and then left to find something else.

Who was this woman? A wife? A lover? Whoever she was, she traipsed and hop-scotched through his nightmares. Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. His lilting words and poetic descriptions of her reminded me of the government chick who had evacuated the CDC offices. Even with her fancy title and government clearance, she possessed the humility of someone who’d give you her world if it made yours better. Despite myself, I was jealous of her long and lean with legs that seemed to snake all the way to her eyeballs. Her laugh was a crescendo of notes accentuated by a look that would command a man to part the sea just to be between her legs. Would I have the chance to be old enough to feel comfortable in my skin?

I imagined Dave and his woman had a cute dog with a hippy name and danced in the kitchen. To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love. I bet she wore lipstick when she folded his laundry. I imagined her tree poses were real and that she had mastered the bakasana. She probably made him wait to take her to bed, and I respected her for that.

I almost asked him where she was, this Sam, the name that left his lips when he struggled against the dreams.  I didn’t want or need to know, even though he did. I could empathize–being driven crazy by the not knowing. But I knew where Jimmy was, where I left him, and the thought didn’t comfort me at all.

I was rifling through my bag when ratty pages of a Keats poem fell onto the ground. Rife between the Neosporin and Twinkies, Dave handed the folio to me and said, “Will you read it?” I recognized a look I was used to seeing on Jimmy’s face and obliged.

Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall

Keats could always take me to another place; it wasn’t long after that we were knee-deep in shit again. Dave tried to steer me away from the fire and the bikers who thought I looked like a sweet treat. Red hair was my life-long sorrow. Memories of my dad’s Vietnam era music rang in my ears as I struggled to maneuver through the brush. Over on the mountain, thunder magic spoke. Let the people know my wisdom. Fill the land with smoke.

It was useless, though. My trained legs were worthless with only Twinkie fuel in the tank, and I started to fall behind. Why the fuck were they wasting their bullets on us anyway? I was just about ready to dive into the clay when the ammunition hit its target—my heart. Another Morrisette moment.

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

From across the river, they watched me crumble as my eyes faded to black. Was it this dark or am I staring at the insides of my eyeballs? Misery racked my weary bones, but I couldn’t decipher the origination. My eyes fluttered open to find three little birds perched on the tree above me. The breeze kissed my face–warm waves interlaced with flecks of cold peppering my cheeks. God, I loved that sensation. Peaceful, enveloping, sensual. Jimmy used to make me close my eyes so he could run his lips over my eyelashes, and breathe into my hair. He’d press his forehead to mine, inhale and then whisper, “You smell like vanilla and chocolate.”

I cried, sobbed, retched–racked with guilt and longing. I ached to hear his voice again. To feel him take me in. I should have never left.

Then the calm returned, the little birds sang, and I snuggled into the bank—burrowed into what would be my forever home. The clay was malleable, familiar, and warm, and the timing was right. Hello, Love. I’m on my way.

We were borne before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won
As we sailed into the mystic

I don’t have to fear it and I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will flow into the mystic
Come on, girl

Too late to stop now

*****

Playing off of what Jennie, Christy, and Cayman created, I left a few Easter eggs of my own. Did you find any along the way? Hint: Rebecca was a ravenous reader of the classics.

And, what would the next installation in the Zombie Apocalypse be without a playlist and a signature video?

Sending a heartfelt thank you to Christy and Cayman for inspiring me, and coaxing me out of my tightly wound, twined ball.

Bonus: Something wicked wonderful this way comes. Stay tuned.

You Think You Want To Be A Witch

If you haven’t read Marissa yet, you really must check her out. “Wicked Wonderful” is how I love to describe her. Marissa’s whimsical poetry makes me smile without hurting my head.

Keeping with the theme of witches, check her out for something light and fun on a Supermoon Sunday.

Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth

I see the disappointed faces
As they stare at me
And hear insulting comments from
The mean panel of three

Sharon Osbourne, Madonna and
On the right Taylor Swift
The judging panel of You Think
You Want to Be A Witch?

So I stand there with Stevie Nicks
Our diaphanous host
Sharon starts with comments that
For sure hurt me the most

“I thought your brew was rather thin
It lacked the bitter roots
And I think that you forgot
To add in eye of newt

It made your victim’s skin scaly but
That is all that you managed
And your broom flying is at best
Directionally challenged

You spent your time watching You tube
In your crystal ball
I’m afraid this witch crafting
Just isn’t you at all.”

Stevie reminds my fans to vote
If they find that untrue
And then turns to Madonna and
Says, “Madge let’s hear…

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Rhiannon’s Rival Twin

I wonder if Stevie’s white witch ever worried about
laundry or
bills or
Touchdown Club meetings

When she swirled and made magic, did her lacy bottoms
ever schlepp through piles of dog hair, or become
pasted with the mystery sludge seeping from under the refrigerator?

In my best whiny voice: Why does she get to cast spells with herbs and spices
and partake in moonlight vices?
Why do I have to play responsible girl?
Bake cookies for fundraisers and causes and reasons
until I’m blue in the face with my generosity and good attitude
“Oh, Thank Goodness for You!”

She titters at me from her pretty perch
Nobody would ever ask her to help – they wouldn’t dare!
She sucks tequila down, right from the bottle
Tongue in cheek and liquored up, perfect lipsticked lips
Swathed in the red and the black; blood of her victims
wavy, mmmmm hot-messy
periwinkle hair flows down her back
Her breasts heave high while her jeans sling low
I want purple, I want cleavage, I want to show!

I try it sometimes, I can pull it off if I hide my driver’s license
and leave the sensible shoes at home with the scrunchie and sweats
Then my kid sees me at school: drop off another check, a forgotten
uniform, an errant permission slip
He meets me in the office all up in his huff and sick with dismay,
Mom. Those shorts are too short. The other moms don’t dress that way

So, I put on my mom-jeans, and drive my mom-car with the 29 mpg and good tires
She snorts, and tosses back her heliotrope hair
her smirk snarled and toothy and discerning
She slams the throttle to the floor of that hot little number she drives
She sees that I want her; ache for her
Our eyes meet in the mirror every morning and I can’t pretend it’s not true

I attempt to be the Moon’s daughter – her forgotten sister
I grow the Belladona, cast the seeds, light the candles and get down on my knees
But then, I’m interrupted by an e-mail or a phone call or a cause and a good reason
And a laugh, a “to be continued” some other day, maybe next season

Dah-dunna-dah-dun the piano riff tone sounds on my phone
She snatches it from my clingy hands and responds with mouth open and lips licked
Slithers out of her bra and into garters and spiky heels while I find a
professional skirt and flats – I have to look smart, together, all book-ends up
By the time you see her again, it’ll be empty bottles and tangled sheets
all smelling up like him and lounging like a satisfied cat

I only looked away for a minute!Well, because, I had to do that one thing
for those one people on that one day

She bequeaths me a last glance, tosses it over her shoulder at me
You wanna do something about it?
standing in the full length mirror before going down
Fingernails tracing the lines of his torso until she finds
just

the

right

spot

I want to be special Just a little special
With great hair and killer legs and a don’t fuck with me attitude
Maybe a mind-reader, or a healer, or writer or SOMETHING other than what I am
Somebody other than the prude preoccupied with meatloaf and groceries

Who am I kidding? I’m pretty fucking cool

Not the long, cool woman in a black dress kind of cool
Not the cool chick who people write songs about cool
Maybe a different, more responsible and reliable cool
A witchy woman – a witchay woman – more Elaine than Don

She’s skilled with the glances, the perky tits, and the booze and the seduction
but I’m a producer
I get shit done
I push that nasty bitch out of my head long enough to
lure my demon lover away from her grasp and take her spot
and make him howl at the moon for a while

You could learn a thing or two, honey
I’m really good on my knees

*****

Oh friends, what a fun piece of nonsense! It all started after hearing “Rhiannon” twice during a three-hour drive down to the next work assignment. The free write began with something serious, but Rhiannon called for something else–she can be quite stubborn. So, I had to make this ornery, seductive, and waaaaay outside my comfort zone. I’d also just read “Woman of Moderation” at Anna Bequins. The raw, sensual words set a permanent camp in my brain, and I probably copied a bit. Match all of this with the fact that I’m really tempted to color my hair K-State purple…well, the rival twin was born. 

Open to suggestions and tips. This poetry thing escapes me. Most of this was written at 2 a.m. this morning 😉 

I Found a Love Letter Under the Bridge

I found a love letter under the bridge
Under our bridge
The span we crossed and burned and built again
The place I tumbled head first into you
Right when I had planned to run

Your note was wrapped in the coverlet we left behind
You know, last time’s last time
You asked me what we should do with the blanket
Let’s leave it here – maybe a homeless person will need it
You told me I was kind – your heart ached – I felt it
For a homeless person
I’m that person, your person
So, I left the blanket here for me

Maybe you’d be there, too?
Tucked up in that crevice
Next to your love letter hidden in the folds
How did you know I’d come back?
The scent of us lingers, fills my nose
and I want you
Want us

Did I write this or did you?

My fingers trace the letters
The strokes curve and wind into the next, and
I can’t decipher where one word ends and the other begins
The lazy phrase you shouted with abandon
is front and center in black and white
You said it every time and I snatched the syllables from your lips
in case I’d never hear it again
You said it first,
but I meant it more

You hinted at promises – always, someday, mine
Throaty whispers that tie me tethered to you

That love letter…

Did I write it, or did you?
The loop of the Y, the curve of the V
It could have been you
but it was probably me

~~~~

This bit of prose was inspired while running a new trail today. I found an abandoned blanket under a bridge along with an empty bottle of wine and a damaged notebook. It wasn’t long before bad poetry, a swirling story, and a playlist carried me home.

Adding to the inspiration was a memory of reading about the Love Letter Library and Gypsy Journal projects. Check out Nicole’s Love Letter Library and join her in the Stop and Drop Love Letter Campaign.

The Love Letter Library was established on the simple idea that this world could use a little more love. Somewhere along the way we have lost some of the magic that used to exist simply by not taking the time to notice it. 

Stop Drop and Love Letter was inspired by a combination of our affinity for love letters and the beauty of discovering something wonderful and unexpected in the world. Over the past few months The Love Letter Library has been composing hand written love letters and leaving them in random locations in our little corner of the world. ~Nicole Ahr

Imagine how you would feel if you found a love letter written for somebody else – when, in truth, it was written just for you. xoxoxo

I Found a Love Letter Under the Bridge

Her Gypsy Heart

Embed from Getty Images

Some are born with ancient souls
In little girl vessels
Others have foolish hearts
hemmed inside old woman skin

I envy her unruly red, gold-flecked brown
Spring’s Muse that plays on the prairie
While the March grass burns
and verdant life creeps between her toes

With boots and roots buried in a pasture,
Her high heels and hands reach for the next rung

The wanderlust of youth plummets
to the pragmatism of years
And the gypsy heart hides
in letters and appointments

Until its cadence can’t be contained
and blood pulses
and spills everywhere

At board meetings
At church – inside bedroom walls
Her world is a creek bank that becomes wilder with age

Can one tame a gypsy heart?

Would one want to?

For my girl: “Stay wild – my wild, wild child”