We’re all damned
We don’t need a virus,
an outside force or
extenuating circumstances.
We choose it for ourselves,
embrace the disease
turn off our humanity
follow an unknown path
in a mindless herd.
We don’t think.
We don’t feel.
We don’t know we’re zombies.

When did this unknown virus
dig its way into our souls?
Did we not feel it when it
began to slip from us?
When did we stop noticing
our neighbors?
Though we walk beside them
all heading in the same direction
we do not see them
do not hear them
do not care they’re alive
because we’re not living.

What will restart our hearts
stir our souls
bring us new life?
When will we stop - and

I Was Meant to Fly Free

Why do you cage me in this glass jar? 
My wings were meant to soar in the wind, not be put on display for a season.
Why do you cage me in this glass jar? 
My life is but a moment and meant to see the world, not only this crystal prison.
Why do you cage me in this glass jar? 
My purpose is to pollinate and beautify the world, not this solitary space so tight.
Why do you cage me in this glass jar? 
My colors are meant to sparkle in the sun, not dim beneath a single light.
Why do you cage me in this glass jar?
Your heart is meant to love me, not make me your slave.
Do you not care for what I want? Can you not hear what I say?
I’m meant to fly free, not flutter in a glass jar and put on display.
Let me out! Let me go! I’m dying! Can’t you see?
 I’m not meant to be caged, I’m meant to be free.

The Door

Part 1

Screen door slams against the frame.
“Mama, look! Look at the picture I made?”
How many times have I told you not slam the damned door?
“Sorry, Mama.”
Where did you get these paints?
“A teacher at school gave them to me.”
Mama snatches the picture away.
People don’t give you something for nothing. What did she want?
“Nothin’, Mama. She just says I paint pretty pictures and wants me to paint some more.”
Mama pours the paints down the sink, breaks the brushes and tosses them into the trash.
She’s a liar! She only wants to know your secrets. Secrets come out in pictures.
Don’t ever paint any more pictures!
Do you want them to take you away?
Do you want them to take your brothers away and I never see them again?
“No, Mama.”
Then don’t paint another fucking picture!  Never tell any more of your stupid stories, either.
“I won’t, Mama.”
You’re so selfish and hateful. I wish you were never born.
“I’m sorry, Mama.”
You always have to be the center of attention, don’t you?
You think you’re better than the rest of us.
You’re nothing but sap, because you’re nothing more than a sticky irritation that won’t wash off. That’s what I’ll call you from now on, Sap.
Why won’t you cry, damn it?
“I’m sorry, Mama.”
You are sorry, Sap. You’re nothing.

Part II

“Please, God, save me.  They said if I believed in you, you would save me.  I believe.”
Door rattles.
“Please, please save me.”
Door creaks open.
“I promise I’ll be good. Just make him go away.”
Floorboards creak with slow footsteps.
“Please, God, please save me.”
Side of the bed sinks in.
Covers slowly pull away.
Don’t move.
Don’t breathe.
I’ll go away for a little while to another place. Tonight I’ll go to the island of the magic apple tree.  There I’ll eat the magic apples, grow strong and powerful and kill the big, black bear that lives on the island and guards the tree.  I’ll kill it this time, I promise.
Hot tears streak down little cheeks.
Door closes.
Silence ringing in ears, straining to hear fading footsteps.
Small whimper cuts the silence.
“Liar! Why didn’t you save me?”
Reaches over and grabs money left on the table and stuffs into a tin Band-aid box beneath a loose floor board. Crawls back in bed, closes eyes, but doesn't dream. The claw marks pulse with pain.
Door rattles.

“Please, God, save me.  I promise to be good if you save me.”


  1. Holy Louise, sister! Excellent job with a brutal topic.

  2. Thanks, Ruth. They were very hard to write.