Playing Along

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(Photo: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

 

He wasn’t going to win this game.

He learned that much from many

That he had

Lost.

And he did not care

To have his face made pie

Against another Juke

Box.

So he played along,

As if it was all

A big

Joke.

 

 

 

For the dVerse 10th Anniversary (!!) poetry quadrille challenge: Juke

Dedicated to all who had to play along, because that was the safer – if fake – choice.

 

 

The Longest Walk

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The dappled path grew arms of shade to shackle her so that her legs refused to move.

Earth’s gravity cranked itself up and higher.

It needn’t be so hard, and yet each cell in her begged an excuse.

She couldn’t.

She had to.

She shouldn’t.

She must.

She wouldn’t.

She better.

Or else.

The tree-lined corridor – so outwardly calm, so beautifully straightforward – was but a hall of mirrors.

An amplifier of her agony.

For who would see it and believe her, when none had yet, and perhaps no one ever would?

The careful greenery imposed a form of blindness on others.

A willingness to only selectively see.

Appearances, she already knew, could become everything.

It made the manicured life into a wall beyond which no one saw. Or wouldn’t.

Leaving her to take.

Again.

As in every day.

The longest walk.

Home.

And its unspoken of.

Relentless,

Tortures.

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

Dedicated to all who live behind the veils of appearances and are kept hidden in plain sight under a mirage of perceived privilege. Abuse knows no socioeconomic boundaries. Torment knows no race, no age, no god, no faith, no intellect, no education, no level of income. May you be heard. May you find a way to be safe.

 

 

Indispensable

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(Photo: Catt Liu on Unsplash)

 

She checked the items off the list.

One by one by one by one.

She’d learned to not look too far down. Better to not confront endlessness. To not have to face it that today, too, there will not be a moment when the job is done. When she is free.

Only another task.

Another chore.

Mistress claimed she was “indispensable.”

Praise or curse for why she could not get a few days off to see her ailing mother. To rest. To marry.

“We’re your family,” Mistress had said. “We need you. It is a requisite you stay.”

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Challenge: Requisite in 98 words

 

Resonance

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(Photo: Johnny Cohen on Unsplash)

 

The sound began

A whisper,

Only to crescendo to

A cry

That made the very

Heart

Howl

In eerie

Resonance

Of pain.

Familiar

Again.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Eerie in 24 words

 

Lady In Waiting

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(Photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

If he could make it there, he’d make it anywhere.

It was the axiom he had placed everything on.

He held on to the promise when his body hurt from beatings. He played the image of it in his mind when emptiness of heart and stomach kept him from shut-eye. He whispered small encouragements to himself to drown the insults that insisted he was nothing.

For he was. Someone.

He had to believe.

The words she said.

About where he could be.

Himself.

If he lived.

So he did.

And lit beneath storm clouds, she stood, waiting.

For the day.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers (Thank you for using my photo as a prompt this week!)

 

Unhollowed

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(Photo: Lucas Myers on Unsplash)

 

There was little in their heart

But ice

And calculated cruelty.

A wanton abuse of

Power.

Ribald actions of

A misery intended

To inflict.

The wreck they left

Of any who had

Crossed them,

Threatened to hollow

Even the hardiest

Protest.

And yet,

There were still some

Whose souls

Would not give in

To ugly.

Whose light

Resisted.

Insisted.

Persisted.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: wanton in 60 words

 

 

Tethered To The Queen

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(Photo: Andrés Gómez on Unsplash)

 

If only they had thought to mark their way, perhaps they wouldn’t have lost it.

Then again, the whole idea of running away was to forgo discovery. Leaving shiny pebbles would have made the whole endeavor be over well before it had began.

They trudged along. Bellies emptier than in hungry nights before.

There was a misery in a scrabbled-for freedom. And yet at least their torsos did not suffer the indignity of another whip.

Eliah’s stomach growled. He sighed. “Only mouths are we.”

“Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?” Lilah responded, distracting him.

The boy grinned through tired tears. He knew the correct reply. The moon of course.

He pointed at the sky.

His grandmother’s nod was filled with pride.

For one was never lost while their heart stayed tethered to the night’s reigning queen.

 

 

 

For the dVerse Prosery challenge

Prosery prompt: “Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?from Rainer Maria Rilke, “Heartbeat.”

 

Lost And Found

(Photo: Cameron Stow on Unsplash)

 

They said she was wanton.

That from a child she’s been, capricious.

Her mom would sigh. Her father, frown.

They loathed how she refused to bow.

Ungovernable. Resisting.

She was, to them,

A moral stain.

A failure

In contrition.

They had stopped speaking to her

Till she had learned submission.

The wayward daughter of the tribe.

The one who lost

Her compass.

Only they none of them knew

That,

In shunned space,

She finally

Found

Life scrumptious.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: wayward in 77 words

 

Spree Time

(Photo: David Libeert on Unsplash)

 

No wallet? No problem.

He’d lived without one as a child and did not remember being hungry. Or at least, not so hungry that he could not muster energy to wrangle grub from whatever lay around.

His grandmother had taught him. Raised through famine she had become an expert forager. There were few edible things she did not recognize or know how to procure.

“If you’re awake, you can find food,” she’d say.

He was awake.

It was time to dumpster dive.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Forage in 82 words

 

Everything

(Photo: Inbar Asif)

 

It was everything

To her

To tend the naked vines that sprawled

Across her soul,

And through the long cold

Winter

To let the sun pour 

Over

The sprawling expanse of not-yet-sweetness,

As she hoped

And prayed

For fruit

Ripening amidst abundance

Into wine.

 

 

For the dVerse poetry quadrille challenge: Wine