Thursday, June 27, 2024

Paper Doll Child

I grew up a paper doll child,
something to dress in hand me downs,
and ignore if my tears got too loud.

Nobody noticed they were planting rebellion,
tilling insomnia, or trying to put me in boxes
too small for my imagination to breathe.

There wasn’t anything vague about being ignored,
no excuses of being too busy, just a front door
that pushed me out to seek solace in wild things
that grew outside windows that winked with dust. 

It was tough trying to balance secrets and threats
when my ears rang with a voice whispering,
“It will always be your fault.”

©Susie Clevenger 2024

I actually wrote two poem for Shay's Word Garden Word List.
The second one is from my Twila Series on my blog Susie's Sentences.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Why Can't I Just be Feral

There’s nothing worth claiming
in this sterile cottage of beds
where mirrors watch and secrets
are only as safe as the whispers that hide them.

It is not popular to be called insane
even though it is a plague that stalks
every mind, and torments the brain
with visions the tongue won’t describe. 

I came for help, a map that had little green trees
marking the path back to sanity, or that is what
I envisioned therapy would provide.

You don’t stroll through nightmares
or talk your way out of hell where
every thought is bolted to a rusty lock
that has long lost its key.

White coats with needle hands
stab me into faux relaxed long enough
to tighten the leather to keep me
from flying the coup of metal ribs.

One chases famous only to wish
it would leave you the hell alone.
I’ve honeymooned with every tabloid it seems,
although I wasn’t asked if I wished 
to be married to their distortions. 

Oh, why can’t I just be feral?
After all isn’t that what feeds
the top spot in the headlines.

I suppose someone will want to publish
my memoirs, collect all those inky journals,
to expose the only prayer I ever wrote
was a plea for the window ledge
to be wide enough to hold both feet.

©Susie Clevenger 2024


Monday, June 10, 2024

The Dark Mess of Hoping

 I’m breathing in blank spaces,

the chilly calm where words

hang in icicle spikes waiting

on faith to perform a ceremony of trust

you are what your kiss spoke on my lips.

Fragile stalks me as if I should accept

its curse, become a fainting, messy chapter

in a romance novel I would cringe at reading.

I am more attuned to dark magic than

a simpering, palpitating heart weak

wish for a golden wand to slap you

into what I want you to feel for me.

This sleeping bus of weirdest emotions

is the silly, severe heart crashing I’ve

never imagined I’d be trapped in.

Stop laughing at me as if I were a guppy

swimming in a fish tank waiting for attention

(even though I am), and tell me whether

the fruit of this moment will bring blessing

or rot on my memory until I grow nothing but bitter.  

©Susie Clevenger 2024

Word Garden Word List ~ Night Road