Ebenezer

I had a dream today.
It took me back in time.
I remembered the very moment when
I messed up everything that could have been mine.

The only difference between myself
and that classic holiday tale
is that Ebenezer could be saved
and I have always failed.

In real life there is no going back.
I can’t undo my greatest mistake.
I can only dream of what should have been
And hope that I don’t awake.

For in my dreams I’m a wife and mother.
In my dreams, I never walked away.
In my dreams, he became my lover
and I never went astray.

Too stuck in my past
Too confused by the wrong man.
In a delusion that wouldn’t last,
I walked away and never looked back.

A few years ago I finally apologized.
My words too little too late to fix fate.
At least today I know where he is and that he’s happy.
But my awakening was far far too late.

Unlike Mr. Scrooge, my fate is all but sealed.
I’m a shell of who I could have been.
Too much like who I used to be,
Too much like I was then.

I’m single.  I’m overweight.
I look in the mirror and feel nothing.
For how do I not hate,
The person who made such a horrible mistake.

I slap on a smile, maybe even a laugh.
I have moments of happiness.
But none that will ever really last.
I’m just an old fool, lonely and afraid.

I work myself to death,
No one cares or respects.
I am in a career limbo
on top of everything else.

If only the ghost of Christmas past,
Could rewrite history for me.
I’d go back to that night at dinner,
Ever present, open, and loving I’d be.

I’d walk away from the wrong guy,
I’d give the right one a real chance.
I’d accept someone so kind to me,
For it was apparently my last dance.

But we can’t go back in time.
I can never make it right.
I must watch someone else live
what should have been my life.

I could have been a wife, a mother, been loved.
I could have had a family all my own.
I wouldn’t wonder what happiness could be like.
I wouldn’t ever have to be alone.

But I made a horrible judgement,
I continued mistake after mistake.
We can’t go back in time.
We can never ever erase.

And I feel like I’m old and bitter.
I feel about 83.
Because I think my life is stagnant,
And this is all it’ll ever be.

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To speak the truth

The words laid on the tip of my tongue,

but I was unable to speak.

My heart was beating faster inside my chest,

And my body started to feel weak.

My hands were sweating and shaking as never before,

The fear started to consume me.

I told myself the truth would set me free,

But wonder if I was lying.

I knew there was but one moment to speak the words,

Despite my fears I had to say them aloud.

They stumbled out uncontrolled, broken.

My face looked shocked; I actually did it.

I stared deep into his eyes looking for hope.

The silence ate away at my stomach like acid.

My deepest fears were realized, my heart exposed.

I was wishing I could erase those last few moments.

The words he spoke next didn’t matter.

I heard, but did not listen, didn’t register.

They weren’t the words I’d prayed for

And the mortification consumed me.

I nodded along to feign understanding.

I waited for that safe moment to escape, melt away.

But worse than the moment of realization,

Was losing out on the dream of what I most desired.

There’s no going back now.

In that one moment I erased my hope, my dreams

And I bulldozed my present reality.

No words can describe the intensity of that pain.

He walked away and I stood frozen, unable to move.

My eyes teared up; I sank to the floor.

I think my heart stopped beating, if but for a moment.

My world pulverized; I bled visibly, deeply, uncontrollably.

The Night Song

I lie in the backyard, darkness all around me.

Staring up at the night sky, the constellations.

In the background the music plays, I hum along.

I am but a tiny piece of a grander puzzle.

And every day I wish I could give more, be more, do more,

but in the end, I’m simply lucky to be doing anything at all.

In this moment the beauty of the song overtakes me.

I sing aloud and the words consume my soul.

The song is close, personal, true to my life.

The night is my dearest friend.

I’m safe and happy in this world I’ve created for such a short while.

I’m a star too, shining as brightly as those in the sky.

In this moment, my dreams are real; the song is mine.

I am not someone just singing along to any old song,

it’s my anthem, my theme song and I’m singing with the passion of the writer.

My words have power, show pain, show love, show everything.

They are the window to the real me.

And as I sing them the world can see me truly, if not for the night sky sheltering me.

I hide here afraid to shine, afraid to grow.

And when the song ends the star fades away again into the sea of so many.

 

A prayer for the sick

I gaze up at the stars above,

Wishing they could see me through.

Their light could guide me to brighter days,

And melt the darkness of night away.

I’ve heard the fateful words again,

Too much, too soon, too often.

First in a friend whose paid his price,

He fought this battle, now fights it twice.

Then perhaps again in my father.

I’m not sure I can handle another.

This ugly beast, this awful disease

I wish we could erase, oh please.

Lord, I’ve spent so many days trying to understand.

I’ve raised money, I’ve walked, I’ve cried, I’ve held others’ hands.

I’ve prayed in every Church and every corner,

I’ve spent nights in tears or completely dried out.

It never seems to stop touching those I love.

Even I’ve had the words thrown out at me.

Cancer is an evil entity,

And yet it never really dies.

It haunts the worlds of those who’ve known it.

It lurks in the shadows waiting to attack.

It’s beastly in abounding ways.

I keep trying to fight back.

The world has many a great things,

wondrous oceans, jungles, forests.

There are precious children,

Innocent young minds to mold.

Lives to live, love to be had.

but this evil still finds a hold.

It’s true it can make you stronger.

I’ve seen that many times.

But it’s a never-ending battle

Even if the cancer isn’t mine.

Lord tonight I pray,

for all who suffer and for all who’ve hurt

from this dreadful disease.

Lord, take them in your heart and hands,

keep them near and make them whole.

Fill them with love, happiness, and never let go.

 

 

My one bit of wisdom

I was a mold-able child.  My  mother’s fears easily became mine.
It took time for me to see this, to correct this, and memories I can’t unwind.

I missed out on things; I walked away from things, from people solely out of fear.
Worry ruled my world; the path ahead was laid so clear.

Even in times of turmoil, ever I was the peacemaker in my family.
Ironic, since I see life as a battleground awaiting me.

Now it seems as if the daily challenges sometimes are too much to take.
Sometimes I simply wish I could find an escape.

It’s only recently that I have seen how deeply past decisions affected me.
Looking back I realize that my choices have cornered me.

I’m heading down a path unable to turn back, wishing I’d done better, lived more.
My life could be so complete, if only I’d not been afraid to live it to its fullest long before.

If I could impart one bit of wisdom on a young lonely soul,
Maybe help someone else feel just a little bit whole

I’d tell them to remember to never ever be afraid,
In my experience, one’s biggest fear, is the choices we wish we had made.

Growing Old

Behind this strong exterior lies a lonely little child.
I work harder and harder everyday it seems, in my job, in life in general.
And ultimately for what reward, what outcome?
I picture myself growing older.
I see myself with wrinkles, greying hair.
I can feel the aching in my bones already.
I hear the creaking of time as I walk.
I look in the mirror and I can see the future me so clearly.
But she’s looking back at me, sad and disappointed.
She’s desperately trying to tell me how to fill the holes in my heart,
the holes that really matter.
She speaks to me and her mouth moves, but no words can be heard.
I do not have the wisdom yet, the years yet, for the knowledge to be real.
But I know I can’t turn back time.  I know I can’t relive things later.
I desperately want the secrets, the answers, the magical cure.
For next to dying alone, my biggest fear is living alone
or that perhaps I die having hardly lived.

 

The Christmas Lights

The lights on the tree blink faster and furious.

They are the only lights in the house.

I lay on the couch with the blanket over me, warm.

I stare at the tree in complete and utter silence.

Blink, blink, blink, fade, blink, chase, blink, fade.

I try to turn off my mind, escape my own thoughts.

The lights, the tree, are peaceful.

I slowly look over all the ornaments that tell the story of my past.

The handmade ones of my grandmother,

The crocheted ones from Church,

The angel that has always been my favorite –

Blue, my favorite color, and watching over me.

With a magic wand in her hand as if she could make all right.

There’s a santa for those that want to believe.

There are bears and snowmen for the child in all of us.

There’s whimsy and fun adorning the tree.

There’s silver shining garland lighting up my night.

I remember when you put a tree together one branch at a time.

I remember buying my very first Christmas tree.

I hung ornaments even from my ceiling.

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year,

but as I grew older it’s been a challenge to remember why.

I watch the children open their gifts with glee,

but the day ends as quickly as it came.

Everything you look forward to for months at a time,

suddenly vanished in a heartbeat.

I look over at my father, who has suffered so these last few years.

I see the pain through the half-hearted smile.

I stare up at the angel sitting gently on the top.

I close my eyes and wish again the same wish every time.

Surrounded by loved ones, but none of them really mine.

The world has blest me with so much, yet left me with such holes.

And the toughest of times seem to have come during my most prized holiday.

Breakups and loss, moves and separations.

Family strife and heartache that never quite heals.

Angry words I can’t forget.

Unfeeling letters of deep hatred.

And a death of a dear friend.

These have become some of my holiday memories.

I struggle to push them down and remember the good.

I love the lights, I love the tree.

I love the holiday, the meaning, the smiles on children’s faces.

I love the hope, the anticipation.

But I’ve lost the ability to believe that any of that good could be for me.

I’ve lost the belief that somewhere in it all there’s room to give a gift to me.

I’m so thankful for the people around me, their lives, literally.

I don’t feel I have a right to ask for more.

I hear others say they are depressed at the holiday.

And I get angry because they have it all.

And all I want is to not feel for a while, to let the tree take my pain.

Let the tree light my heart, be my smile, be my everything.

And some nights it works.  The tree can make me whole.

It may be just an oversized decoration,

but it is the one thing from the holiday that isn’t broken.

It is the one memory that isn’t darkened.

It is the one piece that can always bring a smile.

I don’t know why, but the tree is my salvation.

She holds good memories, not bad.

She holds a peace I can’t find much in this world.

She lights a part of me, that desperately needs to see.

And for a short while, the tree completes me.

But my holiday is far from the Christmas’ I once dreamed up.

The hot cocoa and the warm holiday movies,

the holiday carols playing on the stereo.

With not a care in my heart, not a pain in anyone’s eyes.

I long for the innocence that the holiday used to provide.

I long to be the little girl on Christmas morning,

whose only care was what was waiting.

The little girl who sat on Santa’s lap and made a wish

and who knew one day it would come true.

But that little girl is not so little anymore

and the wish never did come true.

But on Christmas Eve in a Church of hundreds,

I sing the songs with faith and love true.

I believe in hope, faith, and all that is good.

I turn off the tree to go to bed and the lights still blink in my closed eyes.

I go to sleep one last night, with the lights shining my heart.

They give me hope I can’t explain.

I just wish it could last.