Sweltering Hot

Sweltering Hot

The plane was sweltering hot

Only 15 minutes to board 

Made it by a sliver

Already sweating

From the sprint 

Through the Memphis airport

Immediate frustration 

Entered the plane

Dripping with sweat

No air

The plane was sweltering hot

Parched lips

Trying not to stroke out 

On the journey back to the far reaches of the plane

Wanting to curse

Sweat rolling down my back 

Looked up

Down she came

Her baby girl screaming

Bag in tow

She flopped down in front of me

Hot and frazzled

Her beautiful baby girl screaming 

Like she was on fire

Bag left in the isle

People were tripped over the bag

Stepped on the bag

Gave her crusty glares

Mumbling expletives 

She was trying to get buckled

Soothe her daughter 

And get a snack 

From the bag 

Continuously being stepped on 

A blanket needed for her screaming baby

The plane was sweltering hot

Tempers flared

Step

Trip

Clunk

Sigh

Heave

Grump

All those people smacked into her bag

I was sitting 

Watching 

Thinking in my head

“What is wrong with these people? 

Can’t they see she needs a little help?”

OH

She needs help

I smack my forehead and lean in

“Can I help you put your bag away?”

A sigh of relief

Kind blue eyes looked up at me

Baby girl still screaming on lap

Frantic tears 

“I was hoping the stewardess would come”

“Why don’t you let me help you, do you have everything you need for her?” 

“Yes”

Relief, a sniff- was trying to brush tears away

I zipped up her bag and found space for it over another isle

“Thank you so much”

She touched my arm as I walked past her to sit down

I buckled in

Mumbling under my breath

“I get it, I’m listening, use me.”

The plane was sweltering hot

A simple act of service

A minor effort on a sweltering hot plane

Helping a stranger in some small way

The plane was sweltering hot

I was suddenly refreshed and cool

Ballerina Twirling

Ballerina Twirling

She turned

I smile

Reached for her

Twirling in a pink ballerina costume

Dark brown eyes sparkle, flecks of green

Long eye lashes

Curly dark brown hair falls over one eye

Twirling, twirling, twirling, twirling

Magical fairy wand plays a silly tune

Giggles, laughter

My breath is torn from me

Sitting silent

Feeling alone

Watching my sons

Blinking loudly

Hope dashing

Husband’s sad eyes

Precious pink ballerina not twirling

Not for me

Not yesterday

Not today

Hysterectomy 

Gone

Seek healing

Physical & emotional

Health restored

Love… All of these are mine

Shattered dream

Shattered hope

Magical fairy wand 

Lays unmoved in my lap

I loved you

The dream of you

I love you now

One day I will find you

In my dreams

In my prayers

You will be there

Twirling, twirling, twirling, twirling

For my best friend- to heal the loss of your little girl & the hysterectomy that chased your dream away. One day…One day.

Twelve Years Old

Twelve Years Old

Unlovable

That’s what I’ve believed all these years

I am unlovable

Wall so tall, hard demeanor

No one could possibly love me

And yet

Precious baby girl bouncing in my lap

Her eyes filled with love

For me! 

To her I am her hero, her protector

Her guardian angel

Twelve years old my innocence was lost

Forever altered

Missing something

Missing everything

Questioning all things

Seeking anything

No one heard me?

Who will save me?

I am unlovable

Laughter, friends, uncertain future

Innocent love

Protection, protector

Happy & positive, twelve year old girl 

Shoved in a closet

Bound with rope

She is never getting out

Is she? 

Wanting to be found

Heart ache to mend

To grieve

To share… her story

She has something to say

And yet…

Fear

Quiet cup of coffee

One lump in throat

Mom- I have something to tell you… 

When I was twelve years old… 

Tragic story told… Released 

Mending showed up

Peace

Love

Fear abandoned

I AM loved

I AM needed

I AM wanted

I AM watched for

I AM released

Throwing open the closet door

Twelve year old girl has flown

Rope coiled on the ground

Like a dead snake

Loved

But you have to tell

Your story

And get help

 

Jeni McCreary

————————————

1 in 4 women/girls in the US will be victim to rape, a 25-26% chance in their lifetime. I wrote this for those whose stories haunt me and for those I haven’t met yet… our dear mothers, daughters and sisters that have so much baggage and who have gone through so much. Rape changes a person, fear cripples feeling that you have little or no support. While some may not see their own value I hope one day they will. Their tough demeanor, so hard to crack….simply need to know that they ARE loved, needed, wanted, and watched for. Recognize it now, your value, your future calling you forward.  Throw open the closet door and know… you ARE loved! 

Just Stop

Keep stepping

The mantra

Keep moving

Don’t look back

But we do

Over & over again

Regret nothing

Oh so many regrets

So many battles

Too much grief

Too many things

Left unsaid

But stepping

Feels right

Except the walls

Chunk up

A little taller

A little higher- day-over-day

Survival mode

This stepping

Looking at the future

One day when

Fear creeps in

Fear of failure

Angst

Never enough time

For anyone

Including for yourself

Dark circles under eyes

blood shot eyes- lack of sleep

Just stop

You must stop the stepping

Take them out

one-by-one

To deal with the hurt

The baggage

The pain

It sucks

It hurts

It is hard

All the feelings

Could be better off

Left alone

But not for you

Your growth

To be a better

Human

To appreciate those you love

To find courage

In your now

You can do this

You are more than enough

So just stop

And deal

With it all

And watch yourself

Grow

Bloom

Shine

Brighter

Than you’ve ever

Shined before

You can

You must

Just stop… stepping

And deal

With each battle

Each death

Each regret

Each wound

Each love lost

Each unfulfilled expectation

Each hurt

Each breech to your heart, mind & body

Scrub them clean

No more stepping

Just stop

you

will

when

you’re

ready

So… Just stop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunflower

Sunflower by Halle McCreary (my daughter)

Tall and dangly, with fiery yellow petals rough around each edge

It’s head stretched high in the sky for all of the other flowers to see

                    Sunflower

The other flowers don’t seem to see, the way this sunflower hasn’t looked towards the sun

Creating the illusion that it doesn’t need anyone

                                         Sunflower

But as the wind blows this flower’s petals shift

One by one flying in the wind in a swift lift changing it’s leaves

Showing the revelation that the sunflower has caused it’s own pain

So the sun begins to set, and the sunflower realizes just how much she needs the sun

                                                               Sunflower

Though one day when this flower feels all alone

A small red illuminating lady bug settles on a vibrant flowing yellow petal

The two combined beautiful enough to capture even the attention of a nearby stone

Rays from the sun shining on the sunflower

Showing her that in fact she was NEVER alone

                  Sunflower …

I loved my daughter’s poem so much my half sleeve was born (LA Artist) & her poem took the shoulder piece for the win! 

RAGE

I’m in a rage

Since Mom II died

I haven’t cried

My grief went

Straight to rage

“Mom’s gone”

Pulled a trigger

A moment

Memories

I feel like I am always

Chasing

Memories

I’m tired of everyone

Dying

Pause….

I’m tired of everyone I love dying

So I work out

Like a crazy person

To shake off

Stress

To pound my body

To a place of exhaustion

And clear my head

Clarity needed

Proper channels needed

To not let this

Rage get channeled

To those I love

Who are alive

I’m not trying to

Back-burner

Emotions

I feel the rage

I have expletives

Lots of them

Maybe a bit

Of loud music

Erattic driving

Long hours at work

hmmmmm…

Maybe too many

Fillers and not enough

Shhhhhh……

I don’t have answers

No control

and I’m so sad

This rage burns a little

Too brightly

But only for

A bit

The grief cycle will go on….

 

She’s Dancing Again

She introduced them- my parents

She met me when I was 8 months old

The oopsie baby who rolled over on her living room floor

I was 4 years old when she became Mom #2

At age 6- I spilled blackberry brandy in her purse

What a sticky mess

Beautiful blue eyes with a dark ring around the edges

She was sassy, smart, articulate, and feisty

5’ 2” who didn’t take crap

From anybody

Watching Dad and her dance was a thing of beauty

They loved to dance, they loved to laugh

They were always touching- connected in a way I’ve never seen

Every Sunday I woke to coffee & chocolate chip cookies

She was foxy, those hips in her turquoise bikini turned heads

Cherry Monte Carlo with a T-top- our hair blowing in the wind

We would sing like pop stars to Barry Manilow & Neil Diamond

She gave wise council

Shared life experiences

Had more energy than my Puerto Rican friends

She was fierce, she was fun

She let me drink wine on special and not so special occasions

Taylor Pink Catawba

Oh the parties, the friendships, the jokes

Laughter, always laughter

Everyone loved Hal & Ardena

They never judged

They always would lend a hand

An ear, a hug, a drink

They worked hard, they played hard, and they loved hard

Embraced all

Their home was a place of calm, freedom, honesty

She was an amazing cook- her Italian- AYYYYY

Her idea of fast food was a bucket of KFC

Pool parties

Cherry chocolate chip ice-cream out of the bucket- two spoons

She built her own home, yelled at contractors

Stomped her feet and gave them hell

She had three sons; Army Ranger, still born in Scotland, diabetic Scott who is gone

Now with her

She gave her time, her heart, her continuous support

Without pause

Her life experiences helped her to see angles no one else did

Her perspective was unique and different

No one else saw it until she did

Many times she was misunderstood

Her battle, her passions

But EVERYONE admired her grit, her moxy

Her fierce ability to never let go

I loved her, I will miss her, and I will mourn her

I’m grateful she’s pain free

And with the man she truly loved

She’s dancing again

Cutting up a rug- once again, reunited

In each other’s arms

 For Ardena B. Taylor (11/17/1939 – 4/20/2018)