Responsibility

You are not responsible for
the pain in my toe.

You are only responsible for
the placement of the heel
that is part of the foot that is
on the end of your leg.

You are not responsible for
knowing that this seat is
already taken.

You are only responsible for
moving your coat to the back
of a different chair or possibly even

waiting, with your coat over your
arm until it is your turn to sit.

You are not responsible for
knowing that I am next
in line when you have
just walked in the door.

You are only responsible for
stopping, mid-sentence, when you
realize, because I told you,

that you have jumped the queue.

-LKM

originally posted on April 1, 2014

Note: I wrote this poem during I time when I was working on figuring out what it meant to stick up for myself.  Not to make someone else wrong for their impact on me, but simply to acknowledge that there was an impact, and without acknowledgement, there was a shutting down of my own voice.

Groceries

I carry five plastic sacs of groceries in from the car and leave them on the large wooden table in my small kitchen, stopping for a moment to appreciate how tidy the space is before I head upstairs to my chilly bedroom and plug in the electric radiator.

Back in the kitchen, I put away a head of broccoli, a half-off package of sliced baby bella mushrooms, and two bags of organic carrots in my tiny, dorm-sized fridge. I take a swig of pomegranate juice from the almost empty bottle on the fridge door, and then I remember that I have left the car running with the heat on full blast. Just in case.

I snag a torn-open plastic bag of mini bananas, shut off the light and head outside. I tuck myself into the driver’s seat of my warm Subaru, appreciating the heated sheepskin-covered seat. I shut off the engine and eat a mini banana.

I open my book. It starts to rain.

I’m sitting in my car in the dark, the rain pinging on the hood, the windshield, the roof. That rain sound, a symphony of droplets, is comforting to me; it’s a sound I am sure of. Any human who has lived for 31 years on the earth knows the sound of rain.

Does any other human also know
what it feels like to be scared
to go inside their own house
because it is after ten p.m., and
there is food in the kitchen?

Scared because I’m not in bed, which
means there is a 97% chance that
even if I spend a number of minutes sitting here in the dark,
listening to the rain, cozy on the sheepskin seat cover,

noticing the way my stomach feels full,
and how there is no way that
the feeling I have right now
could ever be called physical hunger,

acknowledging that I do not
need to eat right now,
that I could walk into the house
and upstairs to my bedroom,
and avoid the kitchen all together,

even with all this being so,

moments later, I still find myself
in the kitchen eating
roasted almonds with sea salt,
and then macadamia nuts,
and then some apricot jam, straight
from the jar with a spoon.
And then a banana,
first one half, and then
the other half,
alternating bites with a small bowl of
millet rice flakes in goat milk.

As I eat, I organize the groceries
on the kitchen table.

 

 

 

 

Sundays

On Sundays
I like to let
the fabric of my being
hang a little loose.
To let it float around
aired out by the autumn breeze.
Puffed and fluffed
along with the milk weed
and skipping dry brown oak leaves.

On Sundays
I like to let
the silence fill me up with its emptiness.
Leaving me almost transparent,
so the bird and bug sounds pass right through me,
along with the wind.

It is as though
the stuff of me wants to match with the outdoors so that I am woven
into the landscape.

My faun colored
silk scarf drapes
and folds itself into the dried milkweed
and grasses by the road side.

The dusty rouge
of my hat meanders
its way through the crimson high bush blueberry leaves
and perches on the smooth, winding branches.

The moss green
of my sweater lays out along the path,
the short pile matching almost exactly the texture
of that cushiony plant.

And my azure
jeans float into a pool,
joining with the deep blue of the sky
and at the same time the mysterious dark of the ponds.

It is almost as though I could disappear.

People might say, I wonder
what has happened to Lily…

They wouldn’t know
they were walking by me,
under, over
and around me.

Little would they know that I had become
a part of the day.

That I had joined my voice
with the song of the sea breeze
and I was working on a lullaby for the crows.

a Mind with Joy

She wears my name and it’s a tug of war.

She’s as tough as they come…

I know this for sure.

She’s the guest I can’t ask to leave,

I can only tell her, “It’s all right. Stay.”,

even when we’re in a quarrel.

Even then, with tight chest, fists up and tears coming down,

I retreat to a far corner of our tiny home

hiding my face in my shaking hands.

And then I find out she is scared, just like me,

and not like me,

she doesn’t know about joy.

She doesn’t know about waking up

early to make pictures of friends harvesting

food from their fields at dawn,

or about the satisfaction

of sharing my pictures in a

paper that is delivered to every postal

box in our little town.

For her, there is only fear.

Only fear of being found out as a fraud.

Only fear of being caught out in the cold

with out a coat, locked out of her house

because I have found a new partner,

a new wife called joy.

Joy, who is a little more kind, who wraps me up in her arms and

with a big sloppy kiss, she says, “Go on.

You can do it. You are, in fact,

fabulous, and nobody does

being you

better than you can.”

“If the things you do bring you joy,” she says,

“than you can be sure

you are the woman for the job–

the best one

to get the thing

done.”

Rain pattered just a few drops

last night. Plants in their pots

still dry as bone this morning

even with a pattern of small

circles on the sand.

The sun was shining when I woke, groggy

from an early morning visit by the girl

called inspiration.  I invited her to come

before shutting off the light

last night.

I never know with this wild woman–

I just never know when

she will show

me

up.