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

Stay

Please let me stay

I don’t want to go

Over there

Finger pointing

To the dark window

On the second floor

Orange blanket

Blows outside the 

Window

Please don’t leave me

Small hand gripping

In panic

Belly growls

Hungry

Curled up on the 

Washer machine

Covered in a military blanket

Shhhhhhh

Don’t tell them 

I’m here, ok?

Please feed me

I need love

I can’t say if I’ve ever

Known true love

Unconditionally

Please let me stay

Just for a minute

Where it’s safe

And I feel loved

Not alone

Ten years old

I shouldn’t 

Feel so all alone

Please let me shower

And borrow 

Your clothes

I don’t know how to wash 

Can you help me?

Do you see me?

I’m ten years old

And I’ve never known

Safety 

Never known 

A warm bed &

Soft pillows 

A full belly

Three hot meals a day

Unknown to me

Please let me stay

I don’t want to go

Over there

Finger point to the dark window 

On the second floor 

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.

Silent Sentries

Silent sentries 

Standing in murky mud

Heads bowed in defeat

Large yellow bulldozers stand guard

Wary of the unified Wood Storks

That have gathered

Muddy, silent, hungry

Unified Wood Storks poised, patient, waiting…

Frogs croak lazily, not realizing 

They are surrounded

Fifty strong sentries standing 

In murky mud- hungry

Frogs suddenly silenced 

Swimming in warm bellies

Large yellow bulldozers nervously 

Await their fate

From the silent sentries standing guard

In the murky mud

Tragedy Happens

Misunderstood

Judgments crept in

Minds made up

BOOM

Tragedy happens

Too many times in succession

Suddenly the haze clears 

Everything becomes crystal clear

Appreciation for our now

This moment

Please understand

Initially we misunderstood each other

Now I see you in their eyes

Their actions

The way they talk

The way they walk

The way they laugh

Small details in the most

Intricate things

Witty sayings

Silly ways

You’re still here

We are more for it

Shouldn’t we honor those in our now? 

Adore them?

Love them?

Cherish them? 

Misunderstandings happen

Maybe we should always think about

Positive intention

Family-to-family

Friends-to-friends

Sometimes altered forever

Thankful for the gift 

Of tragedy 

It reminds us of what is true

In our lives

Right now

Anesthesia Fog

I woke in the recovery room 

To the smell of hospital soap and anesthesia

The sound of the beeping heart monitor 

The IV gurgling in my veins

Bleary-eyed I tried to focus on the Doctor’s voice 

He rubbed my hand, “We had to do a hysterectomy”

I gulped, eyes closed, anesthesia lulling me back to sleep

I opened one eye, trying to focus on the nurse, 

“Did I hear that correctly? Did he say hysterectomy?” 

“Yes.” 

I remember turning my head and looking out the window

The sky was cloudy and gray

It was going to storm

Lightening flashed in the distance

My eyes grew heavy once again

I succumbed to the anesthesia fog 

And remembered thinking, 

“But we had already picked your name…”

Not Untouchable

My first published poem
Titled, ‘Untouchable Rose’
Created for the life you led
And here I am today
Looking at beautiful roses
Dying & wilting
You’ve been untouchable
For almost 5 years now
I can’t see you
I miss you
I need you
Everyone needs their Mom
Regardless of age
And time
Ugly cried
All the way home
Hard workout
Triggered repressed
Grief
Grief in missing you
Grief in my now
Grief for a future
That feels fuzzy
I’m sorry for judging
For not understanding
I get that you did
The best you could
I wish I could hear
Your voice
Listen to that laugh
That was so uniquely
Yours
I heard your voice today
So clearly
“Honey…you will when you’re ready”
You always believed in me
My dreams
My hopes
My writing
My forever champion
How I miss you
You were never
An untouchable rose
I just didn’t get it
Like I get it now
I see your beauty
Everywhere
I smell the wilting roses
And cry

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