She left snowdrops

flowers-1230

she sends innocent looking texts
begging my attention,
with overblown love, extravagant kisses,
oft repeated claims of how she longs to see me,
and how much she misses me;
her written words sometimes timerous,
occasionally belligerant,
but more often tinted with simulated humility;
when I reply she frequently ignores me.

yesterday she left snowdrops.

she loves me with an unquenchable thirst,
which may be behind her desire to destroy me.
what better way to do the deed,
and at the same time, to repay a world that she feels
should have been designed to hug her figure,
than to tear down her own walls?

but she left snowdrops,
freshly picked, outside my door.

as the months stretch, my grief sometimes recedes
as if she were already dead, but each time it hits,
the wounds gapes, stretching a further inch.

she left snowdrops;
fragrant snowdrops, promising spring,
and fresh beginnings.

I get regular reminders of her damaging acts,
her statements to the law, exempt from facts;
false allegations of rape and abuses,
directed at any man who finally refuses
to satisfy her single-minded aim
by filling her collapsing, greedy veins,
and anyone who’s kind enough to care,
will quickly fall into her snare.
her former beauty has long since fled,
so she sells ugliness and shame instead;
there are plenty of men with sordid tastes;
mysogenistic types with a longing to abase.
but she left snowdrops;

snowdrops, shy, downcast, not quite meeting my eye,
fragrant snowdrops, promising spring
and fresh beginnings.

I hear her pleas,
recognise her ancient needs,
but fear her stammering serenade,
which precedes unreasonable demands
to become aquainted with her fantasies,
to follow her down greasy alleys
and to watch her shrink,
until she is no more
than withered skin.

she left snowdrops;
snowdrops, radiating white innocence,
snowdrops, shy, downcast, not quite meeting my eye,
fragrant snowdrops, promising spring
and fresh beginnings.

she always hoped that one day,
she’d emerge from her imagined chrysalis
to find she was the most adorable butterfly
in a meadow full of plants aching to feel her weight,
where she would flirtatiously flutter,
gracing only the loveliest of blooms with a kiss,
leaving each one blushingly longing for her return.
but the drugs carried my daughter away,
all that remains is the ghost
of tired habit.

so she left snowdrops,
my beloved, lost child left snowdrops at my door,
pale, dripping tears.

(Written January 2016. Edited April 2016.)

©Jane Paterson Basil

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I hunger

I hunger
to be free of the pain
which eats at me
every time I see my children
in knee-bending oblivion
lying
denying
laying insipid alibis
at my feet

I hunger
to be free of the pain
which eats at me
every time
I think of the needles
that stab their skin
stealing their
potential

I hunger
to be free of the pain
which eats at me
every time
a friend asks me
if they are well
or I get a schizoid text
from my daughter
or my son promises
he’ll be with me in a minute
but leaves me waiting
all evening, and
I don’t cook dinner
as it will be cold
long before he gets here.

reminders of their childhood days are too painful to face, I have hidden the baby pictures, the framed school photos, the holiday snaps, those smiling faces caught so long ago by the click of a camera

I blank out the memories of their first steps,their hopes, their successes, their trousers, their dresses, the soft feel of their tresses, their teddies, their toys and their games. I aim to forget that I ever dreamed, that I ever expected their lives to be better than they have become, because therein lies a trap with teeth of steel that will swallow me up in an instant

I hunger
to be free of the pain
which eats at me

Written for The Sandbox Writing Challenge #33 “What do you hunger for?”

©Jane Paterson Basil

Precipice

when I run out of milk, bread, eggs, I take myself shopping
stepping fast, racing against the danger
sometimes even forgetting why I have to make such haste
but then I remember. I turn back
and see myself
balancing on the edge of a precipice

I come home laden, heart beating fast, feeling momentarily safe
and although my muscles may ache
I regulate my breathing, and my core begins to relax
but then I remember. I turn around
and see myself
balancing on the edge of a precipice

I recall the many attacks that felt like the final one,
the one that had taken the breath from my body
toppling me, sending me into an eternal, grief sodden freefall,
ears throbbing with the screams of the damned,
to join the blameless eyeball-popping crazies
who had been driven insane by pain like mine
but every time I came around
to find that I had stood my ground
and I was still
balancing on the edge of a precipice

years pass, with no day free from hope or despair
in a constantly rotating combination, and I stand
wobbling precariously, wondering whether I can survive indefinitely
whether something will save me
or whether I will eventually
fall off the edge of the precipice

©Jane Paterson Basil