Chasing Shadows

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Chasing Shadows

Angry,

I am.

But, I bury it deeply within the folds of my skin like hidden scars.

I dare not let you see the times I have broken.

Weak,

I am,

at the knees at the thought of you.

Angry,

I am that you are smooth and like water slip through my fingertips.

Envious,

I am of you and the manner in which you glide through your days unencumbered by convention, you move from place to place like a racing wind, not settling,

just moving.

And I wish I could capture you and hold you,

but,

angry,

I am that you move like liquid through my arms.

You move through memory like shadows in late evening,

lying down and disappearing with the faltering sunlight.

I have fallen completely in love with the faltering shadow.

Angry,

I am for chasing shadows with my heart.

Copyright 2019 Jenny W. Andrews

 

My poetry book “Life at the End of the Rainbow” is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle. My published name is Jenny Andrews. Thanks for reading!

-Jenny

Watching World

 

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WATCHING WORLD

Lives thick with regret,

things that securely hidden in the darkest depths of my heart leak out like poison.

I would wait a thousand lifetimes just to explain the unexplainable to my own reflection in the mirror of my mind.

I can still see him under the streetlight walking toward me and me pausing as if the watching world did not matter.

Memory like a movie replaying relentlessly.

Yearning to step into that scene and feel the passion again.

Memory turns to regret,

because there are things left undone,

unsaid.

And now the world has moved on and so have we.

All that remains are the promises that rot away like discarded poems in closed drawers.

Copyright 2019, Jenny W. Andrews

My poetry book “Life at the End of the Rainbow” is available on Amazon/Kindle. It is available in both Kindle and paperback. I look forward to receiving your feedback. Thanks.

-Jenny

 

Childhood

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CHILDHOOD

Chair in the corner of the dining room,

and Daddy sitting in it, and only the orange glow from the ashes,

and gray puffs of smoke,

gave any signal of human presence.

Otherwise it was just the darkness and a chair in the corner,

otherwise it was just daddy in the dark and all alone.

I watched the firelight from the cigarette, as a child,

and wondered why the night was so black,

and why Daddy was so alone, and why voices rang out in the night.

I thought of Mama in the next room sleeping,

and I wondered why I was so small, and why Mama and Daddy never laughed.

And I felt like the night, cold,

and like Daddy,

and like Mama.

so all alone.

Copyright 2019, Jenny W. Andrews

 

My poetry book “Life at the End of the Rainbow” is currently available at Amazon/Kindle. I would love to hear any feedback about my poetry. Thanks.

-Jenny

 

Melancholy

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Melancholy

A thought turned over in my mind; melancholy morning mulling over the rumors of his return that never will be.

I do not believe in love, but the hunger is ripe like rotted apples decaying in the sun, puddles splashing along the thought.

Love me,

I used to say,

but, rotting apples decay.

 

Copyright 2019  Jenny W. Andrews

Alma: Just Mama’s Half Sister

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“She’s just my half sister,” Mama had declared with a particularly strong emphasis on the word “just” as if somehow by virtue of the word “just” she could perhaps distance herself from that genetic fact. Just recently, cousins have crawled out of the woodwork after I finally decided to get an Ancestry DNA test. I have received messages from first, second, third and fourth cousins from around the world who bear last names of those long-lost uncles and aunts with whom I lost touch after my parents divorced and moved far away from each other. In a shoe box on the top shelf of Mama’s bedroom closet I discovered old black and white photos of family I have just the vaguest childhood memories of. Mama was in hospice care for cancer at the time. It has taken me almost thirty years to come to terms with those faces frozen in time-those faces that through blood connect to me. Over the years, I have written a memoir but I am not sure if I really want to share it with the larger world. Family is complicated and even more complicated when it has been fractured and what remains has been scattered like dust over mountains and across oceans, both literally and metaphorically. 

What am I to say to those with whom I share a bloodline and little else?  What do I say to a cousin who shares with me painful memories that confirm the validity of my own nightmares despite the fifty years that have elapsed since we saw each other last?

Family? What does it mean truly? They say a picture speaks a thousand words. What do those words say exactly? Perhaps it should be better expressed as pictures can hide a thousand secrets. On my desk, I have scattered all the black and white photos from Mama’s shoe box; I have searched the faces of my ancestors, immersed myself in research so that I can make sense of the past-my past-their past. With the help of my newly found cousins perhaps I will find the courage to forge ahead with my memoir. Perhaps I will find the courage to tell my family’s story, fractures and all.

Since it is National Poetry Month, I would like to share this poem about my mother’s half-sister Alma, whom I met on a few occasions when I was a  small child. I recall the occasions had been most unpleasant due to the tension in the room between Mama and her half-sister Alma. I never understood the reasons for the tension. Perhaps I will one day be enlightened by a cousin. I do recall Mama going to Alma’s funeral, though. I never called her aunt interestingly enough. Mama never told me to, so I didn’t. I guess she was a half-aunt. I had been in college when she died and  I did not go to her funeral. She had been like a perfect stranger to me as had most of my family after my parent’s divorce.

Last Day

Sweet Thursday and here I go again.

Weeping willows and dogwoods in the sand, dried crumpled leaves laying on the dirty ground, sun burning through the black, rain filled clouds, trying to break out.

Red juicy cherries clustered on green vines, snow-white lilies fluttering in the evening breeze, the yellow petals of the black-eyed Susan drooping towards the wet grass.

Day has ended,

my little red tricycle has rusted brown in the endless Georgia rain,

Mama’s half-sister Alma has passed away.

And all I recall of her is this black and white photograph,

her eyes looking away from the world,

and faded words.

And the rain.

Copyright, 2019 Jenny Andrews