Halfway Home

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

She never grew tired of it.

Even if fatigue had become part and parcel of her every day. Of her very breath.

It did not matter. Her fatigue didn’t, that is. At least, it did not matter as much as it would have otherwise. As much as she knew it could. As much as it had in the other place, where there was naught but white walls and white squeaky soles on squeaky clean tiles and antiseptic air and officious hands and flickering images on a screen where well-dressed persons babbled about things that did not feel relevant to her in the least.

They’d urged her not to leave.

She left.

No regrets.

Not when the trade-off was brisk air and the smell of just-trampled grass and the scent of rain and the open vistas of the world rolling down into the horizon where the sun met the mountains and the sky kissed the ground.

No regrets.

Not with the play of night and day around her, not with light that flickering on her covers and the sun licking her fingers as she lay in bed. Not with a world that breathed and changed and lived and died and reemerged. With yips of puppies racing down the lawn. The hiss of wind. The chirps of birds.

Sure, others were concerned, or so they said.

She did not share their dread.

Death did not scare her. Nor did the warnings that she’d be too far from hospital to get assistance in time if another crisis came. For a crisis was bound to come, and when it did, she knew she’d be content to face it with her face to the hills and her eyes on the valleys and the snow-capped mountains where her soul would soon roam.

For she was halfway home.

More than half, perhaps, now that most of the sand in her hourglass had been shed.

It did not matter.

She was halfway home, content with whatever lay ahead.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge

 

Slippery Slope

Not penguins InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

 

Down the slippery slope

Of icy past

And current treachery

They go,

Balancing precariously

On the edge of

What to do

With what they know.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Slope

 

 

Dressed Down

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Photo: Marjorie Bertrand on Unsplash

 

He eyed her twirling in her tutu and his heart squeezed with longing.

He wanted to do that, too. It was not fair that it was not allowed.

That only girls could.

Be princesses.

Wear dresses.

Put on make up.

Play with dolls.

Paint their nails.

He’d tried, of course, but he could tell that even those who did not outright take things from him or forbid him or call him hurtful names, didn’t really feel comfortable with his choices. There was that look they gave, the forced smile, the way they inevitably ran out of patience and gave him “other suggestions” or directed him toward “trying other things.” He was given gifts that made it clear that what he’d asked for was not acceptable and therefore required others choose for him.

He could tell his parents were ashamed.

They loved him. He knew. But they didn’t quite love that part of him. The part that he loved in himself the most. The part that he hated. Sometimes.

It wasn’t even that he didn’t like sports, or climbing trees, or making mud pies. He did. It was just that those weren’t fun without adding a bit of dance, of looking for fairies amidst the branches, or pretending that the mud pies were part of a birthday bakery for princesses.

They kept saying how “wonderful it was to have such an imagination,” but their body language told him that they’d have much preferred if his imagination didn’t quite go where it wanted to. That they would have liked better an imagination of the kind they felt was more appropriate for boys.

“Do you want to be a girl?” his sister asked. They were in her room for a tea party. She was wearing one of her ballet-princess dresses and the full set of jewelry she’d gotten from Grandma just the other day. She let him wear the crown. They pretended this made him a princess, too, but they both knew she chose the crown because it would be easy for him to take down if someone walked in.

Or say he was a king.

Sometimes he envied her so much that it carved a hole into the center of his being. The ease and confidence with which she could prance around in rustling taffeta and glittery baubles, the smiles she got when she dressed up and smeared lipstick on her face … It hurt. It hurt. It hurt.

She let him into her world, but they both know that it was not his to live in. They both knew that when her friends came for a play-date he would be excluded. They both knew that even with no dress on, and with a crown fit for a king, at any moment someone might barge in, and frown, and find a reason to ‘redirect’ him.

Her question made him cry.

Because he didn’t want to be a girl.

He wanted to be a boy who liked playing with dolls and painting his nails and having tea parties and trying on dresses and decorating mud-pie cakes for princesses.

And yet … it would have been so easy. If he were a girl.

No frowns. No shaming. No overhearing adults talk of how he needed “toughening up” or was “too sensitive” or was “definitely gay-material” or “headed in the wrong direction.” Not having to know that Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa were kind of ashamed of him.

“I want to be me,” he sobbed, and fingered a dress his sister discarded and that he would give his heart to be allowed to put on without fear. “I just want to be me … and I don’t understand why it is wrong.”

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS challenge: dress

 

 

Or Not

blue plastic frame desk globe

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

The sun will warm

Again

Or far

Too hot.

The water that sustains

Will flood

Again

Or not.

The tenet that prevails

Remains:

This magic of a planet

To protect

We ought,

Or an ultimatum

Spurred by greed

With life as

Afterthought,

Will render what we

Know

And what we for our

Children hoped,

Into a disaster

We had let be

Bought.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Ultimatum in 62 words

 

 

A Good Fit

Photo by Bryan Schneider

Photo: Bryan Schneider on Pexels.com

 

“How does it look?” she twirled,

And I knew she was asking about

A lot more

Than the dress.

 

“It looks really great,” I answered,

And she knew

It was about

A lot more than

Her silhouette,

Or how the fabric hugged

Her curves.

 

“Then I’ll take it,” she said.

And we smiled because

We both knew

It meant she will take him, as well.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Silhouette in 65 words

 

Path Advice

desert intersection OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

In the deserts of life

When it seems that oases you’ve taken for granted

Have forgotten

Marked paths,

Don’t ignore painted signs

Of the flags of times past.

The direction you take may determine

If your very next steps

Lead to hope

Or end up being

Your last.

 

For Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

 

Whelm

castle guards SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

Be it under

Or over

Be it florid

Or plain

It is best to not whelm

With ill-deeds.

Just refrain.

 

 

Merriam-Webster’s word for June 8, 2018:

Whelm

This post continues the blogging challenge in which Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, serves as inspiration a-la the “Daily Prompt.”

Want to join me? Feel free to link to this post on your blog, and/or post a link to your blogpost in the comment section below so others can enjoy it, too. Poetry, photography, short stories, anecdotes: Go for it!

For more visibility, tag your post with #WordOfDayNY, so your post can be searchable.

“Follow” me if you want to receive future prompts, or just pop in when you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s to the fun of writing and our ever-evolving blogging community!

 

Treat With Care

looking out2

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

Treat this world

With care.

The wounds of past

The acts of now —

They are your very

Heartbeat

And weave

Your children’s

Only

Shelter.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

Do Not Feed The Gremlins

Nightmares of old

Photo: A. Asif

 

Do not feed the gremlins,

The worries

The woes

Do not feed the problems,

The myriad of “No”s.

Feed instead shoots of hope

Tender hearts

Ways to cope,

Feed the thanks

And the kindness,

Feed the soul

Evermore

With all things

Grateful

For.

 

11/27/2017 Update: This poem has been put into music by the talented composer Maggie Bell. Enjoy!

 

For The Daily Post

Voguish

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Photo: Narcissus

 

It may be fashionable to be unkind,

To dismiss civility as weak

And see polite discourse

As reflecting ‘snowflake’ fragility.

One wonders, though,

About the price of bullish ways

On our children

Who are learning

Not what we say

But what we model.

Will they grow to celebrate insult

As denoting power,

And be enthused

By pseudo-charm;

Or will they see

The true resilience of empathy

So hate and war

Can finally be

Disarmed?

 

 

For The Daily Post