Craving Everything

I’ll keep stepping

Because that is what I do

Disappointment vibrates

Through me

Lack of authenticity

Sorely lacking

Thoughts in head 

Disappear 

Like a vapor

Dust

It was never real

It was never going to be enough

The mantra repeats- 

Enough is never good enough

Toe-to-toe I fold

Like a Van Gogh painting

Screaming 

Bummed at the loss

Of nothing

But 

Craving everything

ENOUGH

Withered, thin, gray, tired 

Looking into your brown eyes and see no sparkle there

Welly eyed, deep sigh, blink loudly

How do I convey the desire for a long life

And the will to live that I hope for you

Which you do not hope for yourself?

A walker, fragile, a piece of cut and broken glass- azure blue

Chilly breeze blows through

Jackets thread bare and tattered

Friends arrive and laughter flows with sparkles

Whispers and jokes

Cheers and jeers

Found myself speechless

Baggage

I thought I was beyond, I thought was gone

Baggage

“She will definitely keep you warm”

The truth, out loud, not proud

Visions of thin, tall, long hair, not so curly, not so short, not so…. 

Fat

Baggage

No eye contact

Hunkered over a walker

Slaps on backs as if it was really something funny

Funny how we live in the past

Old memories, old photos, old man

Before me laughing, a sparkle at last

“She will definitely keep you warm” 

Cowboy, icy blue eyes, cracked & tan face smiles

“I-like-a-lot-of-woman!”

Am I right here? 

Less than three feet away?

Why did I come? 

Why am I here?

“Mommy?” 

Oh! 

Dark brown eyes look up at me, an angelic smile… “Mommy!” 

Oh!

A tug at my shirt, a beautiful little face

Oh!

“Mommy can I go play in the rocks?” 

Rocks

Buried over secrets

Over lost dreams and hidden hopes

“Mommy?”

I have to go, I have to flee

I turn and someone stops me

“The old man looks good!”

A smile… “does he? Me? Oh yes, I’m fine…happy, yes. That’s my little girl; yes… she looks just like me.”

Flee towards the house, away

Inside my head the voices ring

“She will definitely keep you warm”, “I-like-a-lot-of-woman”

Why do I care?      

Does it matter that I don’t measure up today just because… I-am-fat? 

How do you measure success? 

The lives we lead, hearts we touch, simple pleasures known only to close friends?

She will definitely keep you warm

That’s true

Today is today, I can’t help the past

No new pictures

No introductions

No acknowledgement

No account of today

Old pictures, old frames

Deep breath, deep sigh, lazy sadness lurking 

How do you measure success?

Six figures? 

Thin frame? 

Perfect figure? 

Ah!!

A love of your life?

Yes! Love, laughter, light

Release

This is not my burden to bear

Or my embarrassment

Ebb and flow

Weight on, weight off

It will come

Today I choose to love myself

As I am

Curves & all

And for today

That is enough

Burns

It burns

This heartache

My lungs burn

I can’t breathe

I’m wanting to flee

But my breath

Is torn from me

It burns

The closer you get

To me

The harder I fall

She can’t support me

I can’t help myself

It burns

And blisters

This fear

Invades my nostrils

And everything

Stinks

Those eyes

So sad

Burn an image

In my brain

That won’t leave me

I can’t run

I don’t want to 

But I must

This legacy burns

A panic in my heart

That can’t 

Be shaken off me

That smile 

Sad smile

Good-bye

Burns my heart

I want to stop 

Spinning in circles

What is my new normal? 

It burns

I can’t

Breathe

This road goes on

Forever

As I flee 

This heartache burns 

Gardenias & Peach Roses

Dying in the hospital bed

Soft skin, ice chips

Lips cracked and parched

Distended stomach

IVs gurgling in and out of veins

Tumors running rampant

Swallowing internal organs for snacks

A five year battle- ovarian cancer

Touching hands, kissing fingertips- Internalized prayer

“God, if you make her better, 

I will take her place.”

Not better

Emotional pain for those waiting

Sorrow

Tears

Monitors blink

Family members fidget in chairs 

Like little girls having to pee

Opting to hold it for as long 

As they possibly can

Last snuggle in the hospital bed 

Your last sweet breath tickling her ears

Death in her arms

Gardenias and peach roses

The funeral was beautiful

Such a beautiful day

Oh to touch your soft skin one more time

Sun so bright

Orange leaves speckle the mountainside

Hazy sadness lurking behind eyes 

Tears rolling down cheeks

Feeling faint

Sobbing, grabbing at arms…any

A peach rose in hand

Puzzled faces as I drop peach roses and gardenias on a cherry wood casket

I’ll remember her

Every time I see a peach rose or smell gardenias on a sunny day,

I will think of her

Jeni McCreary

*Dedicated to my Grandma Joyce, my Mom & my Aunties. No child should have to hold their parent in their arms when they die, but maybe it is a blessing? My Mom is the little girl in the sweet dress.