Sunday, August 3, 2014

departure 
june only reminds me of departures
warm nights 
devoid of your love,
and a freedom bittersweet because freedom
is never truly
free;
aperatures were torn in my heart and i remember
you didn't care
couldn't deign to spare a thought of me—
that's okay
because birds still sing
and flowers bloom,
remembering to live without you was once hard
yet i have got it down to a science now
some days i still think of
you lovingly,
but mostly i'm just glad you're gone—
like a dark cloud on a
sunny day
everything's better once you're gone,
and there's no negativity
breathing down
it's neck at me like some middle school bully
demanding my time and attention
when all i really wanted to do was
get to class.
- linda m. crate 

something more 
the ladies sit together all
whispering behind
their hands 
as if i cannot hear them,
but i can
and i ignore them because if i listened
it would only make me say
something snarky and unladylike;
and i can't stand to hear anymore of 
their lofty admonishments—
always they are
insisting that i find myself a husband
as if motherhood and wifedom are the only
things that should matter to me,
as if they are the only
things a woman could hope to be;
maybe it's selfish but i want more a dreamer 
i have always been and i always will
be—
i want to travel the world, to change the world in
ways that are healing and long lasting,
and i want to publish my novels
sell my jewelry, to be happy;
and if one day 
i should find myself a husband that isn't something i'd
object to,
but i want more from life than the provincial norm
to become something greater than these
women gossiping behind their hands
about norma jean or peggy sue.
- linda m. crate 

God only knows 
everyone in a small town 
knows everyone
it's why i kept to myself
couldn't stand listening to the gossip
or the questions
about who's doing what? as if it were any
of the askers business what
so-and-so were doing
anyway!
i would sit in my dress on sunday mornings
my legs crossed,
and ready to launch myself out of my set
out the door
perched precariously on my seat
like a bird
because i was ready to fly away from people
some people were good;
but there were enough of the gossips that 
church became a chore—
i felt as if my high heels couldn't be high enough
or my flats should go further in the ground,
and i got tired of hearing how
much i look like my mother or the advice
on how to find myself a man;
a part of me knew they were only trying to help
the other part of me was indignant
i'm a shy girl
with dreams and hopes in the sky girl,
and i didn't like that they were
trying to pull me down
from my cloud—
if i were meant to be their step stool
God would have made me one,
but instead he made a woman full of passion and creativity,
and i'm going to paint this whole world shades of 
healing and love they've never seen
before;
make those people skeptical of my worth
quiet as they sit back down in their 
seats,
and merely smile sweetly when they praise my
works because God only knows
how they judged me. 
- linda m. crate 

i'd rather keep my heart 
teeth against my jugular
give me a lesson,
teacher,
i won't forget;
bite me
i dare you, but be warned i
bite back—
they told me to to watch out
for bears and wolves,
but did they tell
you to watch out for ravens?
shame on them,
if they didn't;
for i am a battle raven
ready to rage
a war to bring you into the deepest
ruin—
you aren't the only one that's
to learn from this
lesson,
i am a teacher to be taught 
all the ways of your
manipulative deceit is there any real way
to be taught insincerity
so convincingly?
because i would rather have my heart
than to tear it out for the sake
of war.
- linda m. crate 

lioness 
"Hey, little girl, I won't hurt you.
Just want to chat.
What's your name?"
Like that's going to make me trust you,
perverted old man,
with your disabled sticker hanging
in your car window;
don't think I don't know what's going on
in your sick head—
once I was a child, but I'm grown now
I know better than to trust people
like you;
it's always the people who say they 
won't hurt you
that cut you the deepest—
drive away, old man,
pretend that you didn't see me 
because if i ever see you again in your white
car you're going to get a visit from the
police and pepper spray to 
the eyes,
a knee to the groin,  and the pleasure
of hearing my harpy cry;
i am woman
hear me
roar.
- linda m. crate 

remembering to forget 
threw
some change into the fountain of dreams
hope they'll all come true
made dreams
for me,
and for everyone even you;
you were the nightmare
arching it's shadow over an unsuspecting
me—
it's okay,
forgiveness swung it's silver onto
you,
won't lie say everything's all right;
sometimes a fever still
comes over me
psalming your name to me—
but you're not my problem anymore
that's a freedom that isn't
entirely free,
can't escape the memories that linger behind of
simpler times
when you smiled at me
my red hair blowing into your beautiful
sky of eyes,
and there are times i don't know what keeps me
from tearing apart
only God has counted all the tears
i cried for you in vain;
may not be all right but i'm better
don't usually think of you
except when i see a man drive by in a car
your make and model and color—
it's then i'm transported
back to maine,
into your arms laughing about something
insipid that felt like heaven at the 
time when now
it's hell;
but i think sometimes we remember
simply to forget.
 
linda m. crate