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Cat

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It’s evening, 6:30 to be sort of exact. 

I look out my window in the glass-paned door,

And there's “Big Goldie” as I call him

for lack of a better name.

 

He is a large, furry, proud gold cat.

He sits on the railing of the balcony, across the courtyard from my apartment.

The Proud Owner.

No one tells big Goldie what to do! 

 

Sometimes he’s in the window 

on the ledge

Sometimes he’s on the railing.

Always you feel he’s the boss.

 

I wouldn’t want to humiliate him by calling him anything else.

Not “just a cat.”

He’s a presence in the neighborhood.

His home is on the third floor

And even on cold days,

The window, or the door, or both are open.

 

My neighbor, Kathie,

who knows what goes on around here,

told me he fell one day,

from the third floor (yes!) to the ground.

 

But he doesn’t give up. He’s doesn’t allow himself to let a simple fall keep him in.

Like an athlete, he gets out there, back on the horse, as they say, and conquers the railing again.

 

An example to the rest of us; 

Keep at it! You only have one life!

Live it to the fullest!

Yes, you may fall, but get up and try again.

The lumps and bruises are proof,

That you have lived well and hard.

You are a survivor!

White Lightning

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Mark and Kevin are the only ones on the swing shift. Though they were raised less than thirty miles apart as Jim Crow flies, in 1961, their home towns remain worlds apart in culture and history. Mark drives to the city from northern Virginia, where he lives among the remains of the first and second Civil War battles of Manassas. Kevin, from Chevy Chase, Maryland, has always felt the waters of the Potomac River separate him from a foreign territory, the South. A land where, if one didn’t watch what flowed out of his mouth, one could drown in prejudice. The little exposure to the war that lingers in Kevin’s world are “White Only” signs on restrooms, bars, drinking fountains in rural Eastern Shore, Maryland. And, oh yes, cars sporting a rebel flags on antennae. In Manassas these are frequent, almost required sights. Some might say Mark isn’t fully committed to the Southern cause. He flies no flag. Kevin’s flag is a work in progress. Working together will be interesting.

After a few weeks of cautious forays, they begin to explore their different worlds. To get a taste of alcohol, minors in Maryland depend on sneaking into their parent’s liquor cabinet or approaching strangers who lurk about liquor stores. Kevin explains you give money to the lurker who buys a bottle for himself and one for you and your buddies. Mark’s experience is more of a family affair. In the woods around Manassas, everyone and his cousin sips moonshine. Late one dark-of-moon night, on an unmarked dirt road, Mark introduces Kevin to his cousin who provides his first taste of ‘shine. Burns Kevin’s throat and sears his eyes, that liquid lightning from a backwoods furnace does.

Like a post Appomattox parley, those sips begin to dissolve barriers. Gradually, they probe and poke a little deeper into the worlds they inhabit. Religious and social differences raise their heads in conversation. Though the one is a southern Baptist, the other a Catholic, they remain open and deferential. Discussions about birth control, celibate versus married clergy, a literal understanding of the bible, the Civil—or War of Northern Aggression as Mark’s folks prefer to characterize it, ease into the room. Not that either one takes an absolutist stance on any topic, but they do glimpse new perspectives on life. Slavery and Negros never comes up. However, it is clear that for Mark there are no shades of color, there is white and then there are, “The Colored.”

Eventually another southern-bred joins them on the swing shift. He is older by ten years and taller by half a foot than they are. This one hails from the hills of Eastern Kentucky, where the land can roll over, into, under and against itself. Travis Mac Tagert, descendent of Scottish scratch farmers and wrangler of raw dreams. He carries his shoulders hunched and his chin punched forward, wanting to dominate the landscape with the excess verbiage he stores in his ample jowls, as if they are dogs waiting for the master to call them to a ‘coon hunt. He likes to revel “the boys,” as he calls Kevin and Mark, with stories of his prowess and acquisitions. He has every first pressing of Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis, a flintlock rifle collection second only to the one in the Davey Crockett museum, and has eaten real southern bar-b-cue in every town east of the Mississippi and south of Vicksburg. In fact, if you’ve done it, seen it, or have it, he slides the trap door of his bald spot open and conjures as to how he owns more, has done more – is more. The Wizard-of-Quite-a-Lot, he likes what he sees in the mirror, Travis does.   

One night, Travis is sitting in the corner on break, Mark and Kevin are talking quietly. The topic of race peeks out of the woodwork. Mark says he doesn’t think Negros and whites could live together as equals. For instance, who could ever elect a Negro sheriff? In that moment, in that sterile, institutional green, windowless office where the floors are spread out in shades of out-house brown, a would-be idealist attempts to wade into the waters of separation. Kevin disagrees.

“They read the bible and live by the golden rule much as anybody. Someday Negros and whites might even have families together.”

On hearing Kevin, Travis jumps off his backside and barks, “Why, no white man in his right mind would marry a Nigger, not on your life he wouldn’t.”

Kevin glances at Mark, who is studying the floor, then rubs his nose in preparation for opening his mouth. He barely gets out an “I” before Travis cuts him off. As if he’s throwing his grandfather’s moth-eaten, white sheet and cotton gloves in the face of a relentless foe, Travis rises to his full height, takes a preemptive, three-stomp-march forward, thrusts his chest into muggy air that likes to cling about him and jabs a trembling finger at Kevin.

“I know, by damn, you wouldn’t let your sister marry one of them darkies, buster.”

Attempting to complete his foray in the third battle of Manassas, Travis struts back to his corner, puffs his lungs out further, thrusts a clenched fist to the heavens as if he is the second coming of Stonewall Jackson and fizzles slowly down to his chair.

Silence, wanting to take up residence, slithers out from the corners of the room and slinks along the floor sucking up any spare oxygen. Mark ducks in a furtive smile. Kevin edges under the fluorescence, willing its meager clarity to wash over him. After a moment’s pause, sporting a red face, more from fear for what he is about to say than anything, Kevin stammers, “It’s not my decision who my sister marries. Besides, if her choice is between you and any Negro, you’d be dead in the water.”

Second Innocence

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Dour dawns, where do they come from?

I wake up in danger and fear. When did that start? The last few years, a decade maybe. I know as a young man, in my twenties, thirties, forties, and so on, I woke up as bright as the morning sun, ready to have fun, knowing I could walk into the day feeling the warm swathe of life about me, knowing good things were afoot. But that has changed. Perhaps after I left, the kitchen, the desk, the pulpit, after I turned the corner of my careers to a certain age and began to wander about—beginning to feel mortal, wondering how far this retirement thing is to go; what do I have left to give, get, or be; that’s when it started.

So, I ask, what is here for me to make into a worthwhile day? I have the three writing groups, conversations with my son, wife, friends. And grandchildren, yes three granddaughters. Hey, maybe that’s the secret about grandparents and grandchildren: there is pure innocence in the one and the search for lost innocence—no, the search for a path to return to innocence, in the other. I mean us oldies once knew what innocence was and now we so much want a reprise, an encore, a déjà vu. But we fear it’s no longer to be had at this age, because, in truth, we can’t quite recall the look, feel, and touch of that pure, fresh morning-sky-innocence. We feel lost in the vapor of a memory in which innocence resides, fogged over now in a dissipating contrail of time and fears.

Somewhere out of the depths of our past our innocence calls for a rebirth. But this seems impossible. Decades of mortgages, performance reviews, words in conflict and confusion with significant others, strangers, and friends as to how we can do this life together, have drowned our connection with the virtue of the uncontaminated and good life. But each granddaughter lives. She lives in the pure field of expectation that life is here for her simply because she is alive. She smiles and the world smiles back. She is a special person and it is all good.

Maybe in the next decade I’ll find the courage to return to those plains of grace where I know I am special and life is here for me. As it was for me then, as it is for her now, as it should be for all of us, always, equally. I mean there is enough to go around. The stars cannot not contain the hopes and the faith we wish to have about those hopes. But, if we look closely, if we allow the natural compassion and grace in our hearts to have their say, we will find we do retain all the beliefs and love of the pure soul of a three-year-old.

What's New in Your Life?

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Some might ask “What’s new in your life? Why are you sitting in a darkened parking lot in the middle of the Mojave Desert?”

I raise my eyes to the night sky, to millions of points of light shinning there, visible to the naked eye now that I’m away from city lights and I wonder the same thing—Why am I sitting here under a night sky? What am I waiting for?

Afraid of the answer I already know, I pull my eyes away from that infinite sky and scan the parking lot again, looking for headlights on a slow-moving car looking for me. I see nothing.

Amazing how still the night can be, and how everything can disappear until you hear only the quiet.  Straining through the darkness and soundless night, I try to imagine how it will be when it’s night forever for me, no stars to see, no quiet to hear.

I fall asleep with the image I have been carrying with me since the day I decided to actually go on this adventure. I imagine him knocking on my car window, a wizened Paiute Shaman saying “Hi, Rolling Thunder’s the name, healing’s the game.”

I wake just as the horizon is showing itself in a spray of pink and lavender, the sun not far behind. Looking to my right, I see Cyndi, my wife of many years, looking towards me as she smiles and reaches for my hand. “Let’s try the campground at Cave Lake again,” she says. “Maybe a campsite has opened up. The girls should be arriving sometime today.” (The girls being our two daughters, now living in Southern California, but willing to drive up and meet us here in Ely, Nevada, for what all of us are hoping for— a miracle fueled by desperation.)

Back to the campground.  We circle, but see only one man in a too-small olive drab G.I. shirt walking a cat on a leash. “Are you leaving?” we ask. The man leans on the hood of the car, shows us a toothless smile and answers, “It’s going to be a pressure cooker today.”  Upon seeing the camping gear for four people piled into our back seat he added, “you folks live in your car?”  Dumbfounded by his wisdom, we press on.

The circling didn’t work— too early in the day. We find a nice little parking spot adjacent to the road directly across from the campground and settle down to wait for a camper-looking vehicle heading out; then we’ll make our move. One does and so do we.

Spot number two has opened up and we secure it. Success was inevitable, not through adroit planning, but by blind luck and happenstance—two factors which I have become convinced rule most things in life.

There is no shortage of sunshine here in the desert. There is also no shortage of pesky little bugs, ones that bite with a vengeance. Our time spent waiting was filled with both, interrupted only once when a cloudburst, complete with lightning and rolling thunder, made us both believe that complete health was near, we were certain it was an omen of things to come.

The girls arrive. We exchange wondrous stories of the desert and the pesky biting bugs before we set out to find Rolling Thunder. There is a Shoshone reservation outside Ely, and since Shoshone are closely related to Paiute, that’s where we are headed.

I had held images of rows of Tepees with smoke rolling from the top in my mind, but since it was now around one hundred and ten degrees this was bloody unlikely.  I settled for pre-fab homes with air conditioning.

I looked around for a building or structure that would tell the story of this noble culture, something, anything-really, that said there is wisdom and knowing inside, you have only to seek and we will show you the way. But all I saw was a laundromat with a picture of the Marlboro guy on the front. It looked like our best shot.

There was a smoke shop inside the laundromat with a very Indian-looking lady standing behind the counter.  I felt this was it—I knew we were close. “We’re looking for Rolling Thunder,” I said. “Do you know where we might find him?  He’s a Shaman, a Medicine man of the Paiute tribe. I’m sick and we’re hoping he can help me”.

“I have heard of such a man,” she said, “but the Paiute are up around Battle Mountain and Pyramid Lake. You need to go there.” 

But Pyramid Lake is far from this place, and it would be well into the night before we could get there. I was growing weary of chasing promises that I knew in my heart would not heal the brain tumor slowly taking my life away. 

We returned to the campground to assess the events of the day. 

That afternoon was draped in desert glory, the sun rode low on the horizon and the blue of the sky met the desert in an unbroken line of stark beauty.  A light wind arose, and the yellow desert sun muted to a cool gold. Clouds rolled in from the West. The air grew still. The creatures of the desert grew still. We grew still; a lightening flash and then the rolling thunder again.  

As the rain came, we all took shelter in the little nylon tent and I began to feel that real shelter was experiencing this moment with those who love me and whom I love.  Perhaps that’s all I really need.

Obsession

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As I sit here stirring the peanut oil into my natural, crunchy, non-homogenized jar of peanut butter, I can only imagine the number of jars of peanut butter I have consumed in my lifetime.  Sandwiches on squishy soft white bread were made for school lunches, snacks, and summer camp. It is what I desire when I return from vacation after eating plenty of rich foods at restaurants. Of course, I try to make it healthier now and have ditched the white bread.  Now these days I favor the whole grain, high fiber bread that I scorned as a child.

I come by this obsession honestly. My Dad loved to eat a big scoop of peanut butter whenever he was hungry and his favorite evening snack was grilled peanut butter and Miracle Whip salad dressing sandwiches. The rest of the family turned up our collective noses and preferred grilled cheese sandwiches.  Of course, we insisted on using Velveeta cheese. It is not hard to see how those extra fat calories landed on us and stuck fast.

No one really knows the complete history of peanut butter. Peanuts were known as early as 950 BC and originated in South America. By the 1800's the first commercial crop was grown in Virginia. It is said that Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented a process for creating peanut butter from raw peanuts. He served it to his toothless patients in the Kellogg Sanitarium. I learned many facts about Dr. John Harvey Kellogg from the book “The Nuts Among the Berries"

In 1903 Dr. Ambrose Straub patented a peanut butter making machine. As time went on, commercially available peanut butter was made from roasted peanuts (which I believe made for a much tastier product).

You can ask any number of folks what their favorite addition to the peanut butter sandwich is. I bet that is a good conversation starter. The list would be endless: butter, jelly, honey, Nutella, bananas, pickles, mustard, bacon, raisins, mayonnaise, or goat cheese, not to mention all the cakes, cookies, pies, candy, entrees, and (of course ) ice cream that includes peanut butter. What is your favorite?

I must admit it is only one of the foods that I could call an obsession, but our lives would be pretty boring without it.

 

 

Misfit

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My people, Josh and Stephanie, named me Misfit after their favorite punk band. I have soft brown and white fur, a pointed nose, and a long skinny tail. It is a thrill to go places riding on the hood of Josh’s sweatshirt. I'm a mild kind of fellow, and don’t cause any trouble, so I am bewildered when other people see me and act wild and crazy.

We were riding the bus last week. I poked my head out of the hood to see what was happening, when this straggly haired, toothless old woman starting screeching and waving her hands around and yelling, “A rat, an ugly rat!” She quickly pulled the stop cord and the bus driver pulled over at the next stop. The old woman hobbled out the door, cursing the whole way. I should have been the one screeching. The bus driver came back to investigate and Josh told her I was a service animal. What could she say? She just shook her head and went back to her driver’s seat. Two young punks in leather jackets chuckled and made a rude comment. "What a rat trap this is." they sneered. I hear plenty of nasty comments from strangers and it hurts my feelings, but Josh and Stephanie ignore them and continue to suck each other’s face. I have no idea why they do that, but they do it any chance they get.

When Stephanie had long hair, I loved to cuddle on her shoulder and hide in it, but then she shaved half of it off and dyed the other side cherry red. It stands up in spikes. Stephanie takes a lot of time to smear this black stuff on her eyes and lips, and wears a silver ring in her nose. It really grosses me out when she has a cold and it drips all over the place. I jump over to Josh when that happens. They eat strange stuff like hamburgers, French fried potatoes, pizza, and gummy worms. My fur would be a lot nicer if they would eat some greens I could share, but they never buy any. I tried to eat grass one time, but it stuck in my teeth and gave me a bellyache. Occasionally, they buy a banana or an apple, and I'm thrilled to get bites of those.

I decided my life isn’t so bad when I heard about my cousins. Humans kept them in a cage and fed them strange foods. Joe lost all his fur, Mabel couldn’t walk because her bones were misshapen, and Sylvester lost so much weight he died. Whew: that was a bad scene.

Some distant relatives of mine lived in an old house. They were content because there was a big attic and cellar, and the walls had plenty of space to travel throughout the house. The people were not good housekeepers, so there was plenty of food around. One night, Elmer got hungry but was too lazy to go to the kitchen. Instead, he chewed on some wires and got zapped, then the house didn’t have any lights. The next day, a big truck arrived and put out traps and poison disguised as corn. That was the end of that clan.

Another one of my cousin lives close to a river and has the run of the place. He finds plenty to eat in all the gardens nearby. He has grown so big that cats are scared of him. No one messes with Big Al. He lives outside all year long, and it gets cold in the winter, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He can always find a warm place to stay.

It is beyond me why people go all google-eyed over guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, and dogs, but I have this horrible reputation. Life just isn't fair. But when I look around and see some pampered people who have everything, and others who live in the gutter, I am just happy to have found two people who give me a good life.

The Sky is Falling

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Chicken Little JR remembered her grandmother. A plump, white-feathered gal with lacey feathered feet. A real dish according to the stories. She knew the story by heart. Grandma screamed, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” So many of her friends joined in the hysteria. No one really knows how the story ended, but after Grandma’s disappearance they had their suspicions that maybe the fox and his friends weren’t as friendly as Grandma thought.

In November 2016, Chicken Little JR felt something and knew the sky was falling! She tried to remain calm, but when she told her friends they became hysterical. “Now, now, “clucked Chicken Little JR. “We don’t want a repeat of Grandma’s fate.” They thought for a while, and then devised a plan. They decided to march with placards, make phone calls and send letters reporting that the sky is falling.

Chicken Little JR and her friends tried to talk with the fox and his friends, but all they got was a toothy grin and an invitation to come into their den.  “Not this time,” said Chicken Little JR.

Piggly Pig refused to listen and followed fox and his friends into the den. After several days, the fox tried to lure Chicken Little JR into the den with some fresh moo shoo pork. The rest of his gang jeered at Chicken Little JR.” You’re crazy, the sky isn’t falling. It a sunny day.” The fox and his cronies refused to see the devastation and death in parts of the country where the sky had fallen.

Chicken Little JR had a few converts. Bernie the burro brayed as hard as he could and Michael the mule joined him. Al, the wise old owl, flew from tree to tree yelling, “The sky is falling, why don’t you give a hoot?”

Chicken Little JR and friends worked tirelessly and knew the only way to change things was to get the fox and his cronies out of the den. One day her distant cousin, the golden eagle, came to visit. When she heard the dire situation, she hatched a plan. “I will carry off the smaller foxes and will get help from my friends in the forest.” Soon the badgers and wolves formed a coalition. They soon ended the reign of the evil foxes. Chicken Little JR and friends cheered and cheered. They elected Bernie the burro to ensure that no more of the sky would fall

The Reflecting Pool

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June’s sun drilled heat and humidity into the early evening air around him. With the Washington Monument on the right and the Lincoln Memorial on his left, the Reflecting Pool stretched before him like a blank page on which to write his next chapter. He had to make his decision by the end of the shift. The park surrounding the Pool, with its bugs, butterflies, birds, and squirrels always put him at ease. He found it a good place to clear his mind and contemplate.

With the building that temporarily housed the Agency where he worked hovering behind him, he considered his options. They talked of a posting in Rome. He recalled Allen Dulles, who led the only spy ring to penetrate the German High Command during WWII undetected. This offer sent him on a romantic, if anxious, fantasy. Growing up in DC, he had met children from foreign lands. He had friends whose parents worked for America around the world. He knew he was meant for this life. And Rome, sliding through the shadows of history, treading marble steps worn smooth by the centuries of pilgrims, strolling along roadways laid down for Roman legions who conquered the western world, catching the echoes of Caesar and Cicero, Saints Peter and Paul, maybe Chianti at every meal, “Ciao” espresso and, better yet, sultry brown-eyed women. The romance of a life overseas while working for the good of democracy found fertile ground in his dreams. Too much to ask for? Maybe. But why not him? And they wanted an answer before his shift ended at midnight.

Until his talk last week with his confessor, Father Tom, his answer would have been easy. But Father Tom talked about how a guy could fulfill those same dreams through work as a missionary. He said the young man was a great candidate for the rigorous life of a Dominican Friar. Africa, Asia, the world waiting for a guy ready to sweat blood for God. The life of a friar was the only true life of service to mankind. A friar is one of God’s he-men. The words, “God’s he-men,” flashed in bold, large-point caps across his mind. Besides, Father Tom could guarantee a full scholarship to finish college, then on to ordination and finally off to save the world. When Father Tom spoke, the young man could smell the incense, hear the chant in the priory chapel every morning, feel the white and black habit wrapping him in service and grace.

“You need to think about making your spiritual life your first priority, son. Then you can focus on your service to your fellow man. God’s path isn’t always without pain, but it’s worth it. Sacrifice and courage; pray about it, son, everything will come out right.”

On the park bench in the midst of that hot summer’s eve he had to ask, which called to his heart more? Is it to be a life of a celibate, of sacrifice and service to God and human souls, or a life of service to country and democracy? Don’t forget the romance of Rome – oh yes, and the beautiful women. A celibate in the halls of the priory or a celebrant in the dancehall, incense or perfume, the blood of Christ or the blush of a woman?

As he finished the last of his meal, he said a quick prayer: give me clarity, Lord, a sign, any sign. He swatted at a fly buzzing his food, when he noticed the squirrel. The bushy-tailed critter had been playing a game of peanut tag with him for several months now. He kept a few unsalted peanuts on hand to offer it. At first he flipped a couple of nuts a few feet in front of the squirrel to see if it would take them. Each time it did, he dropped one a little closer. Lately he would hold one in his hand to see if the squirrel had the courage to take it from him. The squirrel got within an inch or two the last few weeks, but would not take that last step. Tonight he would hold it on his fingertips and speak to the squirrel.

“So what is it to be tonight, my friend? Do I drop the treat on the ground or do you take the chance and take it out of my hand?”

The sound of his voice seemed to calm the squirrel. It edged closer, sniffed the air, put out a tentative paw, minced forward a bit more, sniffed the outstretched hand, nosed the fingers, and finally lunged in to take the tidbit. Ow!  The squirrel bit his finger. The squirrel drew blood. Damn, that puts an exclamation point on things. He cradled his wound in his lap and took a deep, slow breath. His gaze drifted back to the calm waters of the Reflecting Pool. What was it Saint Augustine called for in his prayer? Something like, “Let me be holy, Lord, but not yet.” Beautifully said, Augustine. And let’s be honest here, is he working in the cathedral of morality? Is the CIA the place to nurture the righteous life? Revolutions in Central America, the Bay of Pigs, Francis Gary Powers? Probably not. Probably not. The chattering squirrel brought him back to the moment. The young man raised his hand to his face, smelled his own sweet blood and smiled.

 Blood it is.

The Light From Within

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The day sat heavily in front of me, like an opponent judging the moment to strike. I knew it would not be a pretty picture if I continued to sit here and moan about it.  What was this day to bring?  Who would win; me or the day?  Thoughts of varying degrees of gloom gripped my mind. To survive, I had to move.

Shoving my feet into a pair of old blue sneakers, I stepped outside, determined to push the darkness out.  Replacing it—I hoped—with thoughts better suited to such a bright summer day.

The local park has a wide cement sidewalk circling the playground area, and it was my third trip around before I spotted the message written on the walkway.  In neat lettering, someone had written in rainbow colored chalk, “Nothing can dim the light from within,” and it stopped me in my tracks.

The thoughts raging in my head as I walked were variations on a theme of life being one long, slow process of destroying the hope and enthusiasm I had started it with.  But here—now—was this message.  What did it mean?

As I stared at it, I wondered if it had been there all the time.  Was I so caught up in my own world of darkness I had failed to see it?  Did someone just write it while I was on the other side of the park; but a quick glance around provided no suspects in the vicinity. Did I ask for help?  Could this be a message from the universe? Was I being judged?

I was beginning to feel a little dizzy, and walked over to sit under a large shade tree to think about the meaning of it all.  Closing my eyes, I lay back on the still cool grass and   began to feel lightness along with a sense of tranquility, as if I were now protected by some invisible shield. But where did it come from? 

Humming a little as I lay there, it suddenly hit me like a bolt—the message read, it comes from within and it was then I began to understand. We need to make it for ourselves.

For me, the light within is peace and the day ahead nothing to fear, for it is nothing more than a clean slate.   

I'mNot Fat

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I’m not fat,

I’m just hiding

from the world of pain

I’ve had to endure.

I’m still a person

with lots of love to give.

 

Underneath my blanket,

which everyone calls fat,

I’m just Rebecca,

not a worthless person,

a monster, or a lazy user.

Food is my comfort,

and it likes to hang around,

and I’m still looking for Becky

underneath the covering that

surrounds my body.

 

I still laugh, but mostly cry,

but not for myself.

My pain has consumed me,

having to watch others,

the ones I love,

suffer in so much pain.

A donut, a brownie, chocolate-

chocolate chip.

Consoling me as the

sugar slides on down,

landing in the middle.

I call the family curse

what people don’t understand.

 

Is it better to have a love

for food that stays like an

old friend,

or to be heartless and

not even care

when others suffer, and there

is so much pain?

Children molested, starved

and beaten, hungry and cold.

This kind of pain rips at

my soul.

 

My blanket is warm

and surrounds my heart.

Someday maybe I can

remove it and get a fresh start.

Why can’t people take the

time to see?

Hey! Underneath this blanket there is a ME.

Hurt, suffering and pain.

But having extra pounds to

others is not the same.

Drinkers, smokers, druggers,

gamblers and liars are shown empathy,

but when it comes to fat,

you should hide in shame.

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