Beneath Fairy Lights

Beneath fairy lights she sits
contemplating her next steps
like a grandmaster strategist
surveying the field of battle;
one wrong move could mean
sacrificing her queen
to destruction and damnation.

The cool breeze
of an April night time sky
kisses her skin
and envelopes her
with the memory of a life
she has tried to forget.
The stars do not shine for her,
and there is no running
from their absence.

The silent moments between
the breathing of the wind
are pregnant with promise.
In the distance,
as in herself,
a storm brews.

In response to Daily Prompt: Glimmer
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Twinkling Lights” by PublicDomainPictures (CCO Public Domain)

Reality Bites

Three and a half weeks. Twenty-three days. Five hundred fifty-two hours. Thirty-three thousand one hundred twenty minutes. That is how much time remains until Christmas break.

It’s a bit comical that school resumed from a week long Thanksgiving break today and I am already counting down until the next one.  Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. I have the best kids that a freshman Pre-AP English teacher could wish for.

It’s just that I feel I can’t hear myself between the shuffling of papers, clickety-clack of keyboards, white noise of whispered conversations and sometimes garbage truck rumblings of class discussions, and the high pitched bleating of a period bell. Even now I am struggling to really put out what I mean because thoughts of tomorrow’s lessons and papers that need to be graded are vortex within me.

Last night, I wasn’t tired when it became time for bed. I wanted to write, but the words were stuck behind the grading, planning, and professional development I felt I should’ve done over the break. Instead, I stayed up to watch a few episodes of the show I’m currently bingeing. Two and a half hours after I should’ve been asleep, I lay stationery in bed while my mind raced against the coming of an early morning.

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, a few tendrils of light filtering through my curtains lit up the edge of the journal on my nightstand like an invitation. I tried to remember when I had last written an entry and what that entry had concerned. I knew then the real question should have been why haven’t I written in so long.

Before the Thanksgiving break, I was a frenetic madwoman on the precipice of panic. I teetered back and forth in the cacophony of sound that was my day to day, and my ability to be who was needed in the classroom and in my relationship started to fail. Over the break, I had the chance to listen and to write and to renew. I knew this is what I needed, of course. It’s just sometimes that voice is drowned out by life.

Looking at the neglected pages of the journal, I was promptly reminded that I am only as successful as my ability to hear myself emptied upon the page.

In response to Daily Prompt: Bite
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Silence” by pasja1000 (CCO Public Domain)

Checkmate

I want to write
and tell you what happened,
to put the truth out there that
you know who I am
even though you might hear differently,
but the words are splinters of glass
nicking me on their way out,
blurring what I really mean to say.

Refrains of “why is this happening to me” echo
in each calculated interaction
I have with the world,
but there is no real rhyme to these things.
They just happen.
This should give me some modicum of comfort,
but it doesn’t.

“I deserve this” joins the chorus,
and this pitiful acknowledgement
of mistakes made
adds to the swirling amalgamation
of doubt, self loathing,
and words too hard to write.
I don’t deserve this though.
No one does.
But there is no one I can tell this to
that cares enough to hear it.

There is a torment of not knowing.
Not knowing what to do.
Not knowing how to feel.
Not knowing what the future holds.
Not knowing if these words will be my last.
Not knowing if I will overcome any of this
(even though people tell me I will).

The worst pain is that of having an apology
but not knowing who to give it to.
Perhaps I should give it to myself,
to the world,
to you:

I am sorry for not being who I needed to be.

In response to Daily Prompt: Struggle
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Chess” by Felix Mittermeier (CCO Public Domain)

The Cattle Herders

Something enigmatic and yearning played about the edges of this moment when the marching of cattle plumed the dust of memories into the morning. Time to reflect and reminisce would come and bring with it the mercy of fulfillment that only weary muscles, dirtied hands, and reddened faces produced. For now, a determined and knowing grin cast low beneath the brim of a stetson welcomed the new day with the beating of horse’s hooves.

In response to: Three Line Tales – Week Ninety-Five
In response to Daily Prompt: Mercy
Featured Image: Tobias Keller via Unsplash
Special thanks to Sonya at Only 100 Words for hosting these Three Line Tales every week

Paper Cranes

We stand hand-in-hand leaning over the railing of the little bridge that crosses the river in the park behind our house while the city behind us becomes a kaleidoscope of light in the icy water below. We’ve been here a thousand times repeating the same ritual, repeating the same wish, repeating the same crushing weight of always knowing the answer is no, but we come back anyways because hope is all we have left now. We drop the last tiny paper crane into the water, a silent plea cast out through the darkness like a message in a bottle to the world, and we watch it flutter to rest on the water’s surface and bob up and down as if replying “Your resilience and faith has been rewarded – wish granted” before its pulled under by the current.

In response to: Three Line Tales – Week Eighty-Three
Featured Image: Dev Benjamin via Unsplash 
Special thanks to Sonya at Only 100 Words for hosting these Three Line Tales every week.

Let Me Be Myself

This was the result of a creative writing exercise I did while attending a conference in Amsterdam this April.  It all points to identity and the things we desire if we could just drop the social pretense and requirements and be ourselves.

Let me
wear jeans for professional dress.
Don’t teachers teach better in jeans?
I heard that was true,
and if not, it should be.

Let me
just sit down and cry,
release the expectation that I have
all the answers even though I sometimes
don’t even know what I want.

Let me
etch “Carrie was here”
into the glass ceiling
and shatter it
as I dot the i in my name.

Let me
forget the shame
of bad decisions past
and prevent them
from haunting my quiet moments.

Let me
speak my mind
even if I lose my eloquence
and revert back to the girl on the ranch
doing a man’s work.

Featured Image: Pixabay – “Ranch” by skeeze (CC0 Public Domain)