“Upon the Eve”

Merry Christmas to everyone whose greatest wish is to find health in a box under your Christmas tree. This one’s for you!

 “Upon the Eve” 

Picture it

It’s Christmas day

Laughter spills into the air like milk you don’t want to wipe up

Pooling in your soul ‘til the barometer reads full up

Twinkle-dee and puddings plum in your eyes and in your tum

Garlands? Check. Presents? Duh.

That little bowl of green and red M&Ms winking at you from a-top the ivory Spode tablecloth

Silly cookie names that make your inner child giggle although you’d never admit it

Case and point: Australian nut balls

Hee hee

(No judging)

And yet tonight, upon the eve

Your thoughts may string together like christmas lights

Wondering: how will I make it through the day

On a day of holiday cheer

On a day I must appear

Happy

Normal

Healthy

Content

When the other 364 days of the year

I am

Not.

I wonder this on Christmas eve

Curled up in my plaid pajamas

Worry congeals my harried thoughts like day old macaroni and cheese

Making my blood hum an out-of-tune sonata

Then he enters

(No, not Santa)

Rubbing sleep from his eyes in squeegee motions

Come to bed, he says, his hair sticking up like the grass on my second grade classes’s chia pet

And just like that

I get it

The big slap in the face

It’s not about health or gifts or wreaths or pudding I can’t eat or chores I can’t do

It’s not about whether I’m tired or how hard it is to climb the stairs to my sister’s house

It’s about just one thing

The only thing, when all is said and done, that really matters at all

Love.

 

“The Iron Wind”

“The Iron Wind”

I looked out on the frosted moor

My mind did wander, took a tour

It sent me back to days gone by

When dream I did, and need but try

Yet youth was wasted ‘fore my time

My course was jackknifed on a dime

And now I must ply dreams with fate

My choice accommodate or wait

My shell won’t go my throat won’t sing

I know not what each day may bring

Yet as I traversed through these woes

A steely iron wind doth blow

It blanketed the earth below

And shoved me where I dare not go

Into the icy wilderness

Where sharpened blades my feet do kiss

I stand in place, my breath is smoke

I’m all alone, my spirit broke

And yet the iron wind does blow

And shows me where I dare not go

Where every step the ice impales

And every breath drags in like nails

But still I stand and pray to grow

My arms outstretched, my cheeks a-glow

And through a cloud a ray of sun

Spotlights my life and tells me run

Run even if your legs cannot

Dance in your heart and with each thought

For one day you’ll be here again

Your body matching what’s within

You’ll look out on the frosted moor

And thank God for what came before

This time is rare, the journey long

But it will serve to make you strong

And then the light it did retreat

Yet in my soul was born a heat

To live where iron winds doth blow

To go where others dare not go

And so I walked in stocking feet

And thanked the icy blades as sweet

For courage coined must come through fear

And roses grow where thorns appear

“True Beauty Is”

“True Beauty Is” 

 She looked with trepidation at the clouded surface of her eye

Offset by purpled veins embossing sallow half moons below

Marking the sickness inside

As obvious as the red circle

Your english teacher draws around a misspelled word

Beauty is within, she murmured to herself

A daily litany

Used to combat the ruination of her feminine wiles

This illness had stolen from her

And so the years went on

Thinking herself less than she had been before

Because she could not prance or dance or stand up in pinched shoes and say

I am woman 

My body is an art form

That I will share with the world

And one day use to make another’s begin 

Until one day, she stood in the frigid night air

On a blustery December eve

Looking up at the inky sky

Spangled with stars, cloudless and fair

The light poured down into her still sallow eyes

Filling them with starlight and majesty

How beautiful, she thought

And it struck her then

Just how much we are moved by beauty

For true beauty will feed the soul

And her eyes opened wide

As she saw it

As plain and as poignant as silence after a storm

And her laughter spilled into the night air

For she’d been looking for beauty in all the wrong places

In faces, in inches, in health’s happy glow

But real beauty will not torment like Helen of Troy

Whose beauty sunk a thousand ships

True beauty doesn’t demand the ruination of another to support its worth

Like women who scan the room

To see whom among them is prettier than she

Her fingers tapped her forehead before raising them to the moon

A salute to the beauty that no one can tarnish

And she slowly continued on her way

Knowing that life can be beautiful

A feeding, inspiring, nourishing beautiful

So long as she steps outside the beauty that only lives through comparison

And simply steps outside