Spring Tides in Salty Water

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Spring Tides in Salty Water

Chirping and singing fills the air,

Tides peak on the border of a shoal

Beach grasses protect the Dolly Varden–

A crab that moves toward the muddy land.

It has a light colored shell covered with red spots and they are darkly outlined.

This is why some refer to it as a calico crab.

Remaining hidden with a thin rippling layer of water across it

At the low point of the ebb,

Here the water is so glassy,

And every detail is revealed.

Crystal clarity to the very bottom,

A little school of minnows flickers like silver sparks,

Bigger fish wander in along narrow passages and between the shoals.

Beds of Sunray clams rest in the deeper areas with whelks preying on them.

Crabs swim and bury inside the sandy bottom.

Life comes out of hiding with horseshoe crabs and a toadfish that hides in

A clump of eelgrass with neat black spirals and a banded tulip shell.

Others glide rapidly with a clear track in the sand,

Minute plant cells are a principal food of each new generation.

Pea crabs and ghost shrimp are alive, too.

Many of these effectively deceive the human eyes by being covered with seaweed.

As the tide ebbs away,

Great whelks are exposed and they glide across the surface in search of clams,

Microscopic plants are gathered inside as seawater streams from their bodies.

The stone crab is their enemy with a massive purplish body and two brightly colored

Claws; they lurk in caves and among the jetties with the rocks.

Gulls seize and carry channel whelks away,

Then, they drop them on a hard surface and the shell shatters,

 Their treasure is recovered leaving behind bits of shell.

It is a world of force, change,

And constant motion as the sand acquires new sea creatures

From the heavy pounding surf.

            –J. E. Cook ©2014

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Exploiters in the Sea’s World~

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*Exploiters~*

A mole crab uses nets so efficient that they obtain
Numerous microorganisms in which whole cities
Live and where the waves break and splash.
In a spectacular movement an area of bubbles; like of a flock of birds
Emerge with crabs digging into the sandy shores with a magical ease
By way of a whirling motion, they dig into wet particles and wait for
Returning water.
They are flat with paw-like appendages and their eyes are mostly useless,
Depending on their sense of touch to guide them through the surf.
Sensory bristles and their gnome-like faces appear in a floating instant in the
Liquid glass stream—fading back.
There is a magical quality in these curtains hiding a world containing shifting sands
And foaming water.
They begin life as an orange colored egg, however, their life span is short.
Towards a summer’s end,
Transformation to an adult is complete.
Young crabs can be carried as far as 200 miles off shore in a current they may travel
Further…
Remaining active in the winter season
And spring brings their mating.
By July, most males are dead.
Females carry the eggs for several months until
They hatch before winter these females die.
A new generation lives among the coquina clams,
Screw shells, and Terebra.
                                                                                                     
                                                                          –J. E. Cook ©2014~Revised~2017
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Four Seasons of Change

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Sunflowers in the middle of my table

Always reminding me of

Their beauty and their seeds of giving.

 

In my garden, the tomatoes, squash,

And yellow cucumbers grow right

Beside them.

 

They stand like sentinels

Waiting for the yellow finches

To peck out their faces

 

Morning arrives with a flush of pink

Near the horizon

It clears as the sun rises

 

The soil in the garden

Now soft from the overnight

Rain shower

 

My journal rests on the picnic table

As I drop the seeds into the turned soil

With the hole waiting for each seed to

Land

 

Never packing too tightly

For the green shoots to rise

The delicate growth following the sunshine

 

I always keep the dirt in the garden

Instead of the place where I sleep

And eat.

 

Every day, I hope no souls get

Called to the heavens.

A daily thought as I plant away.

 

No pesticides for me or my dirt patch

I think as the old lullabies play over and

Over inside my head—sunrises & sunsets

Forever over the fields of growing crops.

 

Autumn will bring out the dressed scarecrows,

Various gourds, and glowing Jack-o’ lanterns

Harvest festivals will fill the city streets

As people shop for homemade bread and cakes.

 

The dust of the harvests will fill the farmhouses

Bright blue skies will carry the scent of burning leaves

A cloudless sky will greet us with winter after

The memories of festivals fade

 

Falling stars on the horizon

But the Harvest Moon rises above

Like a great ball of fire

I’ll miss these subtle changes of color

When winter sets in with the coldness always

Near.  –J. E. Cook ©2017

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Beaches & Sunflowers

Remembering dancing with friends and

A boyfriend

Me wearing sunglasses most of the time

Due to my sensitivity to

Bright lights,

beach trips

With colorful bathing suits

Rolling waves

Knocking us over

Our knees hitting the sand below us

Collapsing from exhaustion

On our beach towels

And drinking cold cans of beer

Together

Floppy hats covering aging women’s

Faces from the sun

Wearing wet suits home

Inside a stuffy hot car

Our sensible shoes left at home

Envying the people inside the air

Conditioned shops as we pass them

Watching ice cream being served up

Others sipping on iced drinks in varying

Colors and flavors

The drive making us sleepy

Wanting only a nice cozy bed

After a refreshing shower

Floral-print summer dresses cover our

Sun-kissed bodies and sand is between

Our bare feet and our flip-flops

Envying the colors of the sunflowers

In the fields, we pass

Their faces turned to the sun

Like us on the beach

Loving to be surrounded by their

Happy faces

Their seeds are so useful

Yes, they are my favorite flower

Even though, picking one flower

As a favorite is such a difficult

Choice in life. —J.E. Cook ©2017

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Cherishing Life

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To be in full bloom

Where one exists,

Is what one’s life should be…

To live in the moment always

Not in the past or worrying about one’s

Future that has not arrived yet. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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The Little Things, and More

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On a green metal bench, outside

Our favorite ice cream spot

We watch the dogwoods dance

In the breeze off the lake,

The sky is bursting with their pink

and

White petals

Reminding me of the delicate

Frosted flowers on the cupcakes

Across the street designed

By a young baker,

The smells in the air

Around us are intoxicating

And the blooms

Become confetti on the sidewalks

My cone contains sweet caramel

That is sex on my tongue

As I lick it,

A touch of sea salt and

Sprinkle of pecan nuts,

A swirl of whipped cream

And a shiny cherry on top,

What else would one want

While they watch the skies

With their favorite love

And forget all the foreign thoughts.

 

Being with the man of your dreams

Is always wonderful

Even without these added pleasures

His curly hair at his neckline

As his sudden smile appears

When he watches the ice cream

Drip onto my lap.

His presence is appreciated

And his eye contact

Makes me blush

My shoulders ache for his touch.

A hug that brings me in so

Close right before his lips

Caress mine. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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Shared Sunsets

DONELOL
A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.
~Having the right connection~

Shared Sunsets

The girl that is rare
Is the one dear to one’s heart.

As I stand by my tree of choice
And watch the sun make its
Colors at Sunset
With the birds lining the tree
Branches–but not uttering a song
At all
As puddles fill with insects
And the rows of corn
Flutter in the wind
In all the fields sprawling
Before me
The black silhouettes
Further out reflect the remaining
Reds in the skies

Those evening skies
As I hold the hand of my closest
Friend and we remain silent
And happy with the passing
Of time
Because it happens with us
Together
Before this lovely scene in
The sky.
–J. E. Cook ©2017
gorgousbride

Also Visit: https://josiecook48.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/musings-on-a-sunday-morning/

A Girl named Rose

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A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.
” A prose poem of love…realization. ”

A Girl named Rose

The young woman called Rose
misses the crisp autumn in her hometown,
With many amazing sunsets against the forest trees,
She often sat on the top of her building
Watching those same trees with her early morning coffee,
This October is bringing out the Halloween sprites, ghosts,
And a variety of candy in the local stores,
She has visited the Nevada desert several times
In her travels,
Watching the peculiar animals living there,
Noting the absence of trees,
Her campsite always smelling of simmering beans
and dying wood,
Her merry band of waifs and adventure seekers
Filling the circle around the warming flames
As they talked about their dreams and lost hope.
Billy, her steady travel partner,
The creative one, so imaginative and funny,
Keeping her going and sometimes grounded too
Long in the same spot,
They were high most of the time when they could
Afford to buy or someone was sharing it,
One morning, Rose found Billy’s tattered sleeping bag
Empty,
She started dreaming of visiting Mississippi,
As she watched another sunrise
Alone and feeling lost,
Sometimes she thinks she smells bacon
Frying in the morning, before she rises,
But it is only the smell of beans lingering
Rose desires to taste her mom’s
Cooking again,
Her group leader decides to take
Them to Colorado instead,
Some weary participants
depart for San Francisco leaving
Early before Rose is packed up for departure,
So early, they can see the fog in the distance
Before the sun burns it off,
Her memories come back like a flowing
Stream,
Rose wants to see her home place soon,
Where the KKK had a history and civil rights
Brought so much drama,
She buys a bus ticket with her last coins
and few dollar bills, hide in her pack’s lining.
As Rose sits down in the back of the crowded bus,
She sees two pregnant girls sharing a bag
Of powdered doughnuts and giggling,
Her stomach growls loudly and she coughs,
They turn to stare her way,
Rose turns to the window and watches
Half-naked children play in a big mud puddle
Outside a rundown apartment building,
She never dreamed of having babies or a family,
Her mom passed on her dreams to Rose
As she rocked her in the mornings.
Back in her old town,
Rose seeks her own room,
A room she knows her aunt
Has waiting for her return,
She thinks about how her only aunt
Brought her soup in bed and checked her forehead
When she was too ill to attend school,
Some prissy lady passes Rose on the sidewalk
And Rose does not miss the look in her eyes
As she goes by,
So, condemning and hateful,
Rose wonders if she smells bad or if it is her
Ratty hair and soiled clothing that brings this on,
She has bathed in gas station restrooms and begged
For rides on this trip to reach home,
Rose reaches her favorite tree before her home,
Inside a park near it,
She stops to visit and sits at the base of it,
Enjoys the shade it brings and gentle breeze
Coming from the moving river,
Her mind empties and she closes her eyes,
Rose is weary and frightened at the same time,
Sleep comes,
She remembers overhearing grown ups
Talk at the kitchen table about the floods
Of the 1920’s,
Babies crying in the background,
Rose thinks about mothers and daughters,
Their similar ways and mannerisms,
She remembers that she hasn’t visited
New Orleans yet,
The river was always a boundary for her own
Mother,
One created by a man in her life,
A river can sweep up everything in its path
Like a man,
Your destiny becomes someone else’s
Leaving behind your dreams,
Decisions made by someone else
Crushed options and plans abandoned
As the path changes,
Rose wants the bad involvements to go away,
Her destiny feels not as hers,
She falls to sleep recalling
Her own plans,
She wants to figure it all out on her own,
A smile touches her sleeping features
As a shadow moves over her form.
A familiar young man gently picks her up
And he gathers her close,
Carrying a sleeping and exhausted Rose
To her home.
She wakes up in her room
Surrounded by her aunt and her family,
And it all comes back to her,
As Emily, her younger sister pats her hand
And starts introducing her to
The strong man that delivered her to them
A man, from her past, her first love,
And her destiny.
Rose has been dreaming of this day,
But she never believed it would be true
In real life,
Tears fill her big green eyes,
And she sits up to hug him to her,
He whispers in her ear,
“What took you so long?”
She says, “I wanted to explore the world
Around me, before I landed.”
“You were always so much like a Monarch
Butterfly seeking its destiny.”
He tells Rose this, as he kisses her cheek
And considers her wet eyes.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

Moving On~not always a choice~

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Moving On

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

leaving a place of love and happiness…

Moving On

 

Moving is scary to me,

Leaving the things behind that I became

Accustomed and familiar to

the change of the seasons every year,

those colors the tree leaves always

become every fall,

the sunrises and sunsets full of the

emptying cloud ranges,

the places on their horizons

that I view each day after day,

sitting on the deck at dawn

watching the day begin and end,

In the morning, the sky bringing up its light,

sitting right beside the big Maple tree

that I will always miss after I am gone

from here,

listening to the rise of the day,

nothing there, except me and that

special tree,

a tree where my daughter spent her

afternoons after school swinging, talking with her

friends, and climbing with her cat,

daylight arrives and I think of haunts of this land,

I’ll miss this tree, the memories will bring it back

After I am gone,

But what I’ll miss even more is this weird little

White house I bought myself,

It’s creaking and moaning during thunderstorms,

Its own pellicular grace and style

That brought me happiness so many times

While I was here.

The garden that I tended and worked in

With its life cycles each season,

Tiny seeds being pressed into the soil

Waiting for them to poke through

The ground,

Maybe, I am just a seed, too

What I’ll remember most is my bedroom

Here,

Because it is right beside my big Maple tree

It stands there like a soldier guard,

My bedroom windows look out to the garden

That I love,

I hate to be a long time gone from this

Place of love and happiness

But, I am moving on. –J. E. Cook ©2017

 

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Allie & my daughter, Victoria having a discussion under the big Maple.

Mother Nature & Our Divinity

In Divinity’s developing, early spring garden

Where many flowing wildflowers flourish,
to produce and cultivate others,

To promote so many varieties in color,
these shades of her beautiful tints stretch

for miles and miles…
such as beauty often does but never lasts

past its challenging termination,

One may never find it

In the same precise shades again,

like heaping painted canvas clinging to the knolls

And the spreading valleys,
nature’s brush of changing colors,
with each hue as bright as the sunshine,
kissing the splendor dispersed over our land,

When a heavy winter coat of white

Arrives and covers the same spots,

This ground rests and sleeps until
spring in the coming year,
then these fragrant blooms come back,
stretching and multiplying over the

Endless growing territories,

Building a constant circle of nature at its best,
the brush of Mother Nature creating art

From loam, mud, and particles of dirt

By mixing the drops of constant rain

with the warm

Endless breezes helping her,
This creation reminds us that miracles exist

And our ultimate survival depends on her,
without her touch, man and his family

Would not flourish like the blooms of

The earth.

These renewing buds

Coming from dry seeds shall carry us on,
as they are blown across the world,
the rain showers arrive to nourish them,

The fall season always prepares the soil for

The approaching slumber,

the endless sun will keep bringing

Its warmth every spring, and

into the rumbling summer,
and soon it will be time for dancing

hummingbirds

And working insects to cultivate the

natural growth,

without her hand, nothing matures,
Mother Nature is our keeper,

and the land’s tending gardener,
There’s no need to change her routine

because it fits our necessities for life,
with the essential gifts of her love.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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Reading Meanwhile there are Letters

This book is based on the correspondence of Eudora Welty & Ross Macdonald edited by Suzanne Marrs & Tom Nolan and it is quite a treasure to read.

In one letter to Welty:

“I don’t quite know what is happening to the country, or has already happened. A friend, formally in the government, writes from Washington about “the coming constitutional crisis,” as he calls it. I believe the country has gone through a moral crisis and failed to recognize it. We proceed cheerfully on our desperate way like a man with a bad doctor and a fatal illness.”– Kenneth Millar (102)
After reading this quote, I thought about how it is so fitting to our current situation in our country!

In her next letter to him I noted this passage relating to the above passage from his letter:

“…I think, the same feeling about the awful things we were perpetrating upon that midnight clear (in Vietnam). I hope and hope, while knowing there’s damage that can never be undone and something lost we can never get back. Just hope for the end of the killing–I think it has to come soon, don’t you?” –Eudora Welty to Kenneth Millar in a letter. (105)

I believe–Hope is always what keeps us going on in times like these! These writers’ thoughts seem to relate to our country’s current government decisions and actions.

As I continue to read and reflect on this:

As I read this thick volume slowly, I reflect on so much of the material covered in their correspondence through their letters, specifically what Welty tells him about nature, writing, and also how he responds to her questions and her personal concerns in the areas of her writing and doing interviews. This can be so useful to authors and poets today. Millar is always reinforcing her through his perspective on her writing talents and her public speaking engagements. When she doubts her written work and her speaking abilities, he always seems to have the right answers about her troubling thoughts and how she might be somewhat off the mark with her personal reflections on her public interviews that she reveals to him inside her letters.  Millar gives her his expert perception on them, and they are always on spot with what is happening with her writing and her unique capabilities.  She, in turn, does the same for him often through her reviews and her feedback on his writing.

Their relationship was truly a working one as far as their writing is concerned. They seem to feed off of each other and reinforce each other as they correspond making their writing endeavours stronger and more successful as years go by.

I will be reading more about them soon and I may post more here on what I find in this treasure of a book about Welty & Millar and their growing relationship as they communicate with each other through letters.

 

GREENWATER

Writing in the Spring of 2017~

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Enjoying a Sunday in the Sun

On a Sunday afternoon,

I watch a flower by the name of Camelia

Open fully in the summer heat,

This occurs after a gently falling rain,

A white collared sparrow sings from a wire

High above me,

I return to my reading material

To ponder and think ~Jeanette E. Cook ©2017

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glendamblue

At Thirteen, my mind

Knowing everyone has some secrets

Hidden that never get told,

As I ponder about giving up my Barbie doll collection,

Thinking about pretty floral dresses for the next

School year,

As we visit the village drugstore together

for penny-candy stuffed inside brown paper bags,

And watch various grown-ups collect bottled medicine,

I know changes are around our corner,

As the news reporter talks about a woman

Jumping off a local bridge to her death,

And some of our daddies dying at war,

And I dream of fun gatherings with my close friends

To block out the numbing pain

Of our societies’ decisions

In the midst of timing and transformations.  —J. E. Cook (C)2017

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Nature’s Unique Giving to Our World

To examine it closely takes time and patience

To find a bushtit or a fly hiding under a leaf

With its eggs as a spider looks for them.

 

Dinner is served by the unnoting as it flies

Away,

Random occurrences a coyote stealing

Chickens from a neighbor’s yard at night.

Passing an open window in early morning

As the mourning-dove perches in the fragrant

Lilac tree by the potting shed,

She sings to the lonely.

 

Rats eating from the trash piled high against

A decaying building as a birdfeeder is torn apart

By a passing squirrel,

Baby spotted-owls waiting for their mother to

Return with their evening meal in her beak.

 

A turtle returns slowly to the water’s edge

As a boat leaves an island for home.

A man sits inside a rowboat watching a duck

Dip into the water in front of him.

Connotations gathered on a Sunday morning

From the porch of an old maid as she watches

The birds fly by,

To a river surrounded by trees.

 

A drainage ditch serves as a water hole for the passing

Duck family,

Where are the red-eyed vireos? Have they left for better

Places?

On Saturday night, a beggar sits on a wooden bench

Watching and listening,

He hears some noise coming from the distant swamps,

Then, someone asks “where are you headed?”

Some fellow stops to tell him about an owl found inside

A rusty tub, he knows him from the café up the street

Where he often brings him a fresh cup of coffee with

A cream doughnut every morning,

Baby bats fly high above them as they continue their

Exchange of words on that wood bench

Only a few feet apart.

 

A hawk eyes those black babies from a tree across the street

Bordering the long muddy alley by the Victorian inn,

The rattlesnake he had for breakfast long gone.

 

A distant windmill makes a suitable nesting site,

There are cobwebs, moss, and hair in the muddy nest

Lichens cover this rusted metal frame,

Feathers fall to the ground as the slow rotation moves the

Wind,

An old man twists his white mustache and he watches for

The returning momma cat from his seat on the sagging peeling

Porch,

She is a female beauty with long tiger hair,

All allegories in time and many chapters on glorious reflection.

J.E. Cook ©2017

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Spring Violets

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

My Tribute to the poet, William Jay Smith, an American poet. Spring and the flowers with the sound of birds.

“Did anything ever sing to Emily and Charlotte on the moors above Haworth?”

–E. Welty~

Spring Violets

The white and purple violets I left last night on the patio,

To the best of my knowledge, are out there still,

And will be there until I remove them or they die.

 

And will be there as long as I think that I

Can throw the sliding doors open on our world,

A touch of the violet color in the tail of my eyes;

 

As long as I think I see, past the Maple leaves green-growing,

Cars and trucks moving down our street, ever flowing,

Fulfillment is in the thoughts so ongoing,

 

Fulfillment in the sight upon sight responding,

To the sound of the sound of small birds flying by,

In life as life gives, and in death as it arrives.

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Life’s Holiday Circumstances

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

I wrote this poem as a tribute to the work of Henri Coulette, poet and teacher. These are my thoughts and memories put down like he did his when he wrote his poetry.

During a holiday gathering with friends and family

Watching the people arrive is always

Full of endless surprises,

Frequent laughter fills the big living room and it mingles with the

Youngsters’ running, chasing and bickering over toys.

 

How do we cope with the individual thoughts, various

conversations and background confusion as the area fills up?

People on-time and people arriving late

This creates an adjustment needed in the planned dinner

Starting.

 

I always try to be on time

Though, there are many times I arrive a little tardy

This nags at me as I walk through the front door

Then, I realize that I am not the only one

Rushing to get there.

 

As I walk in with loads of required baggage

Small children run to meet me with

Excited tight hugs and many dewy kisses

This puts me at ease

It is the reward for being there.

 

Even though, these social holiday gatherings

And scheduled festivities

Are stressful to prepare for and to attend

I’m always glad that I made the effort

To attend.  –J. E. Cook ©2017

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My Beloved One

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I remember many shared seconds, minutes, and hours

Between us,

Some so very special and others too intense with violence,

You came into my life after I cast a wish in desperation,

I thought you were my granted remedy to life’s

Classification of love,

Those first months were full of it,

You seemed strong and well healed,

Like you overcame all your life’s disappointments, trials,

And countless teases filled with scorn.

We grew together and shared our closest thoughts,

The outside world crept in on us,

We were unable to keep the gate locked and sealed,

Your anger over not being in control,

Consumed and punished your soul,

Our joyous dances were tarnished and battered,

I couldn’t comfort you enough to make you forget,

Your past was defining you once more,

Our dual carriageway became more difficult to navigate,

You took with greed and stopped sharing or giving,

Now you are at rest it appears,

Making me a widow; something I thought about often.

 

Some days I still recall you as my head pounds

With pain reminding of your numerous punches

In that one place,

Recalling your muscular knees digging into my narrow shoulders

As you sat on my hurting chest,

Me sinking further into the quilts crafted by your

Mother’s blind hand,

Blackness occurring,

My breath slowing and pausing,

Hearing background noise mingled with familiar voices,

A slight imbalance,

Enough to gain a bit of control,

Then standing by the dark window,

Screaming so loud as my lungs would allow,

Feeling the swelling and bruising of my face,

Seeing you inches from me,

Gawking and shaking,

Turning and fleeing,

Those are not memories, I wish to recall now,

Only the sweet times that we had and captured,

I will still protect those as I thought you once did,

You will never read this,

I am compelled to release it,

My misery is over and you have gone into eternity,

I don’t know if you will be granted that next life.

I always loved you and I am told by your mother

How sorry you were for what you did to us,

I couldn’t live with you anymore,

My daughter’s protection is always my charted purpose,

I will shield her from you as she saved me from

Your aspiration to make me your dead target.

Your slamming hands created some permanent nerve damage,

However, your fate has ended our suffering now.

You are my beloved, and always will be because I forgive you,

As I keep recalling one scene from our shared past,

Opening the door, finding you on the enclosed porch

Appearing to be sleeping with several electrical cords

Entwined and wrapped around your neck tucked inside

Your dusty work jacket as your eyes opened to meet mine

In the dim morning light streaming in through those porch

Windows as tears rolled down your whiskered covered

Cheeks,

Those eyes blood laced and tired,

You tried to hang yourself in our tiny garage along the alley,

But the beam broke under your weight not allowing you

To complete your yearning that early morning.

You destroyed us as they craved for it,

Demolished the trust, our loyalty, and our love

With your growing hatred,

You were ailing,

Me—a woman that was beaten down and belittled,

I couldn’t think straight anymore,

I anticipated peace and justice and found none,

Just like you inside your head suffering,

Your single focus ending this torment,

Mine was still seeking peace and something for my child,

Something that you could not give either one of us,

Hope keeps me going,

We felt a kinship at our beginning and built on it,

I broke my own rule to be with you,

My beloved, I want you to be at peace now,

Even though, I am not sure that will be possible

After all, you did here on our planet Earth. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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