My steps are thunder
To confirm my presence
Or else you'd wonder
If I were magic, or a spirit
That took your breathe
And ran away with it
With mighty legs
I'll endure the distance
Chasing my heart wherever it wishes
Try and tame me
If you dare
Only for love
Will I let you near
Grace is constant
As pulse is beating
I am the creature
Your soul is seeking
Across distant lands
To ocean shores
I'm a wild one
Maybe you never really know what you're capable of… until you're in it. Until the moment consumes all reason, and it's you alone with the psychopath.
Mine hid well from conscious desire, behind daydreams of kissing and the curl of each wave.
I was typical, average, with nothing peculiar that would throw doubt my way.
Then she came into our lives, and ripped away all camouflage that concealed my deepest rage.
Zeppelin was eight.
Everyone says that their dog is the best and to a point they are right, dogs are the shit, and if you don't have one, well…your heart could be fuller that's all I'm saying.
But anyway Zeppelin,
My Zeppelin with his big brown eyes and angelic personality, he could crack a smile on
even the most melancholy of souls.
He was hit in the head, at night, and slowly
painfully, left his body just as the sun rose over the desert hills to the east.
We were on vacation in Hawaii, making our way home when she called us.
Literally, as the plane began making its way out of the gate, she called us.
She, an estranged distant cousin, who reached out to my mother some months after my sister and I moved out.
My mother, a giver, with a huge heart despite her better judgement, allowed for this cousin to come and stay, help out with rent, and look after our babies if we were gone.
Her words were a hysteric mix of blubbering mumbles and pleading sobs, then a tap on my mother's shoulder, "Ma'am please hang up and put your portable device in airplane mode."
Seven hours of travel until we finally reached our driveway.
Her eyes were wild, she was neurotic and twitchy. I stared at the blood stained cement in our backyard, I accounted the blood spatter on the adjacent walls. A dark feeling awoke within me, one absent to reason and careless of consequence.
She tried to hold us , she tried to embrace the family that allowed her a foot hold into their lives.
I couldn't cry here. My mind had been racing for hours…. "You heard nothing? Where was Deanie?! (our other Golden) There was no barking at all?!"
Every question knife to throat, with every one replied, "It's going to be okay.”
Nothing made sense. I could feel my blood boiling underneath my skin; I wanted to scream or rip my face off, die, something! Anything to warn off the pain and thoughts of him bleeding to death alone.
Then suddenly it was quiet.
The truth so obvious I would throw my life away for it. I looked her crater surfaced face dead on with an unquivering know. Promising her in silence, that I saw her, and no matter how long I'd have to wait, he would be avenged.
There aren't many basements in California, too hazardous for earthquakes, you see.
Years ago, my grandpa built one anyway, unsanctioned, under their home that has long since been empty.
No one has seen my cousin in years, and I don't suspect they ever will.
I love you forever sweet
Zeppelin & Deanie
Beorn cut his paw just as we begun the climb down the mountain.
The blood, immense and rich , gushed out onto every stone he weighted.
A flesh wound to him that he could care not even a moment for, his eyes swelled more in the anguish of having to be carried back down to our car.
The trail was bustling today. Characters from every corner of the city ventured out to embrace the long awaited sunshine summer promises to our vampire toned flesh.
"Poor thing!" "Aw little one!" , "Would you like some help?" "Is there anything we can do?" The climb down took twice as long from the coos and concern strangers expressed when passing my shepherd's hoisted fluffy butt.
Their kindness is not misplaced, I appreciate it greatly for I too am a bleeding heart for animals, especially their well being.
As the sun rose in the sky my arms started to ache under the wait of my dog, yet it dawned on me how easy it would be to extend those simple gestures of empathy for all in need of it.
We are all vulnerable to the harshness. The one that breaks our skin, our pride, our hearts, but in the end we all bleed the same. The casings for which our souls dwell should not determine our love for one another, nor be the reason that we circumstantially extend our hand to help. Under feathers, fur, scales, or skin we are all here together, let the blood remind you within.
Peaking out below the window that separates cooks from the service floor.
The way they turn over and flex while griping various ingredients.
Only in rush hour do our bodies, get to share space in a room, yet I lose myself in those brief moments where I can see nothing but his braced, summer stained forearms tighten to lift a ceramic plate into the warming window.
Will they be gentle? Will they be hungry? Will those strengthened fingers hold firm around my jugular pulsing?
Helpless, I yield to the numbing sensations his trace leaves against my skin.
His hands , the way they explore, blazing trails for his lips to follow.
Now our bodies share space,
in our bed in a room.
His hands I'm still watching
God give me years of this view.
Today a heart was shattered
My world trembles at the quake of her pain,
Waves hit me like icebergs that dagger my face
My love, my sister, my true other half
The battles we're tested often blow up the path
The one that we sprint down when we're open and blind
By the promise of forever, and a touch that is kind
My sunshine, my blood, my lifelong best friend
When you're hurting like this I can't comprehend
Why I'm so far away, when I should be holding you close
When forever is broken, and you need me the most
My blossom, my kindred, my tummy hurts laugh
When love is for always, there's no too great a task
So gorgeous, so giving, please don't lock up your heart
Save it for someone, who from you, could never part.
Don’t fall asleep. Don’t fall asleep. Don’t fall asleep! I repeat to myself over and over as the late afternoon light beams in through our class window. Why does this always happen? I don't even like naps. I dig my nails into the side of my leg, reminding myself that if I fall asleep I will regret it for the rest of the school year and probably my life. Distracted by the self-inflicting pain, I jump when the bell shrills our escape from this nap inducing prison.
I wait to get up. Everyone is scurrying about, trying to jam out of the room at the same time. I’m no different. I feel anxious to leave but a tight feeling in my stomach reminds me it’s his day for pick up.
I take my time. Gather my belongings, adjust my backpack- I walk out of the room at a such a slow pace that by the time I make it to the front of school, most kids have already been whisked away by their parents... who arrived 20 min early.. while drinking something probably pumpkin flavored. .
He's always late. Even when I take my extra time, with my extra steps, he's always late. I loop my thumbs through the straps of my pack and scan the street looking for our midnight blue SUV. The wind picks up swirling icy air around my bare legs. I shiver and pull my modest cardigan tighter around my chest. Tomorrow is a pants day for sure, I think while noticing the trees in the courtyard have dropped so many more leaves since yesterday. I sit down on the front steps and contemplate if I should start my homework.
"Hi Maggie", a small voice calls from behind me. I turn to see Thomas Baylor, a boy from my class walking towards me. His hair, once perfectly mom gelled this morning, has surrendered to the circumstances of second grade shenanigans. He sits down next to me on the front steps and wipes the sticky hair away from his face. "Hi Thomas", I return friendly. We don't talk to each other much during school, but today is not the first that I have seen him here waiting like me. "Is your mom late too?" I ask him while looking down at my scuffed shoes. "Yeah she says she’s trying to be better but..." He trails off distracted by a kid hoping the curb on his scooter.
"Who’s coming for you?" He asks still staring at the scooter.
"My dad", I reply with a frustrated sigh. "My mom usually does but she has been going to the doctors a lot lately."
Thomas turns towards me, looking quite alarmed.
"Is she sick?" He asks with partial concern in his voice.
"Oh no...she’s not sick... she's pregnant. I'm going to have a little sister soon."
I don't sound as excited as I should be. I’ve always wanted a sibling; there is just something that makes me feel sick about it. The tight feeling comes back in my stomach, I wince and tuck my chin down so Thomas can’t see.
"Oh....is she fat?" He asks with sincerity.
"No!" I quickly correct him. “Her belly has been getting bigger but it's just the baby growing." I tell him with confidence - though I actually have a lot of questions about the whole process myself.
We sit in silence together for a moment. The traffic persists yet there is no sign of either of our cars. I think about starting my homework again when Thomas blurts out "Wanna race?"
"Race?" I repeat confused.
"Yeah ya know race? Common I know you are the fastest in our grade I've seen you at recess."
I am the fastest, I gloat in silence. I never see Thomas at recess.
"I just didn't think you did that."
"What run? Oh I can run Maggie, and I'm about to leave you in my dust.” He exclaims strutting past me towards the open field next to our school. I take one last look towards the street, grab my pack and trail after Thomas. We drop our stuff in the grass and walk towards the widest oak tree in the opening.
"You’re not going to cry are you?" I ask him smirking while taking off my shoes.
"You wish!" He shoots back.
The grass feels cool and damp against my bare feet. Mom will kill me if I come home with another grass stain but I’m sure she’ll understand.
We step up to an imaginary starting line. My heart thuds against my chest so hard I can feel it in my throat.
"Around the last tree at the end and back, Ok?"
"Yep." I reply short, licking my lips and taking one last deep breathe.
"On your mark...get set....GO!!!"
We lunge forward, taking off so quick we almost knock each other out.
Right away it’s clear that we are running in the wrong direction as the wind forces us to dig against it. I peer out of the corner of my eye to see that Thomas is still right by my side and isn’t slowing down soon. Damit. We approach the last tree in the field which is also super wide with thick branches drooping around it. Making the round is tricky-Thomas on the outside, cuts in close to me as we turn trying to avoid the wooded obstacles. This distracts me for a moment, and I trip on a large root roping around the giant.
"Thomas!" I scream after him, pushing myself up against the dirt.
"Didn't touch you!" He calls back without slowing.
"Uhhh!" I groan while pushing as hard as I can to catch up. Half way back and I can feel my eyes starting to water realizing I’m about to lose. I swallow hard to suck it up when suddenly Thomas slows down far before our finish line.
"You're cheating!" I say catching up to him.
"Yeah, I didn't want to make you cry." He jokes, hiding a smile behind his mockery.
This pisses me off and I sprint past him towards the oak where we started. My face is hot and sweaty, I turn back towards Thomas.
"I...wouldn't... have... cried", I declare gasping for breath. He approaches ignoring me, "Are you okay?" He kneels down and pokes my knee that has started to bleed.
"Ouch! Don't! I'm fine!" I yell, feeling like my eyes are going to water again.
"I swear I didn't push you!"
"I know I just tripped".
I swallow again. . He stands up next to me. "That was fun!"
I look down to see my uniform covered in dirt and a small cut on my knee that has left a line of blood trickling down to my ankle.
"Yeah- I want a do-over though Ok?"
"Alright, maybe when you’re not all gushing blood though". He teases.
We sit down to put on our socks and shoes when we both seem to realize that we haven’t been looking out for our parents.
“We’d better head back, do you have a phone?” I ask him deciding enough is enough.
“No I’m not aloud.” He whines, clearly having protested the subject before.
We get up to head back when I see at tall figure standing in the distance waving at us.
“Is that your dad?” Thomas asks?
“That’s him.”I reply keeping my eyes fixed on the grass.
We meet him at the entrance to the field.
“Hi sweetheart!” He shouts while picking me up for a giant bear hug.
He’s still in his work clothes.
Then I smell it. The smell that sends my stomach in knots, the one that makes me feel anxious and confused.
He lowers me back down.
“Sorry I’m late Mags, another meeting at work that ran a little too late.”
He finally notices I’m a mess.
“Honey what happened?”
“Nothing Dad, we were just racing. This is Thomas.”
“You weren’t beating up my little girl were you Thomas?”
“No sir. She kicked my butt."
“That’s my girl! Let’s get you home I bet mom is getting worried.
“Thomas I think I saw your mom waiting out front here.”
How would he know what his mom looks like?
We arrive back at the front and sure enough parked right behind my dad is Thomas’s mom. She gets out and starts walking towards us.
“Thomas! I’m so sorry I’m late baby!”
She leans down to squeeze him but then stops when her eyes meet mine. I’ve never seen her up close before. Her hair is shorter than my moms and her face has so much color on it I wasn’t sure where I was supposed to look.
“You must be Maggie!” She dotes, while smiling at my father.
I must be Maggie?
She looks down at me and in an instant I feel my throat starting to close.
The smell. The one that makes me anxious, the one that makes my insides tight.
I can’t move, I can’t breathe, I just stare at her.
Her eyebrows furrow and she quickly stands up away from me.
“Maggie.” My father warns with a stern hand placed on my shoulder.
Fingers clench around my hand, and out of the corner of my eye I can see that Thomas is still by my side.