The Right Thing

Criticism strikes like a knife to my soul,

Disguised as a joke,

But the pain stings sincere.

Was the right thing to spin the wheels of my rusty mind faster?

Was the right thing to never ask at all?

I am unaware of how I got here.

I am unsure of how my story ends,

All I know is this static condition,

And it was I who set the tone.

Forever pleasing,

Always willing,

Like a dog for approval’s bone.

I just wanted to do the right thing,

Let me try, Oh no, how dare I,

If I asked, shame on me,

I should’ve known.

The truth cuts deep,

When it stares you down in your reflection.

Accept your faults, and leave thoughts be.

But still I wonder,

What miraculous event will move my needle?

Its foundation stiff and stern.

A sea of mistakes, I’m always swimming,

But to drown, despicable me, I yearn.

No book or words could teach me,

My mind will never learn.

Come up for air,

Bad decisions, I breathe in.

One word, One trigger,

And my gun of sorrows lit.

Tragic clarity consumes my hope.

And then I know,

The right thing was never here.

The right thing required better.

Silly girl, too blind to see,

The right thing was not inside you.

The right thing was never me.

-N.B.

Tell Me How It Is

I always sit here wondering, pondering, thinking it over.

I sometimes lay awake, wishing I could ask you, but not hear the answer.

The truth is, I think of myself as a stranger,

A girl I do not know,

A woman half baked, but mostly burned.

Troubled by her past, and unsure of what comes next.

She wants for everything and, yet, does nothing,

But sits here blankly staring, thinking herself to death.

-N.B.

Red Sunflowers

Sitting here, I blankly stare

At the red sunflowers

Reflecting in the checkered

window’s frosty glare.

Rattling like a snake,

My mind slithers me back

To a time before I was crippled by judgement,

Reacting to every sound, every snap,

Assuming all corner’s lay mousetraps

And I, the hiding rat.

It was a time before my fingers froze,

My back stiffened and my vision blurred.

A time before I over explained,

Overdid and over endured.

A time before my answers to questions

Came out muddled and slurred.

So I blink twice

Unmoving, my body is heavy, my arms are slack,

But I manage to reel myself in

From a head of chaos and a soul of doubt.

“Who have I become,” I ask

To a window that does not talk back.

So I sit here and blankly stare,

At red sunflowers,

Chopped and lifeless, without a care.

-N.B.

Rock Bottom

Particulate matter, dispersed in the sea

Numb as I crashed,

Ocean surface, ocean floor,

Or am I somewhere in between?

God help me, I’ve sunk too slow.

What a pitiful scene.

I have heard wondrous stories,

Of what your ending begins.

So sing me to sleep, with your hopeful lullaby.

I’ll glide past all my terrors,

Fighting with my warrior cry.

Why, then, can I never reach you?

The point where the healing begins.

Rock bottom could not come sooner,

For the nightmare that never ends.

-N.B.

-Photo by: Poeelouis

What’s the cycle?

I remember when I first found out about death. I was young, younger than 7. I believe and my brother and I were rummaging through some old things we found in a cupboard. We happened upon a picture of my late grandmother and I asked my brother what happened to her. I never really knew her so it wasn’t as if I thought of her often or at all really. Again, I was pretty young. He told me that she had died. I asked why. At this point I understood that people die of various causes, but what I didn’t know was that everyone has to die. I didn’t know that a requirement of life is, actually, death. If you live, at some point, you also have to die. That was a really difficult concept for young me to grasp. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that all of us, my mom, my dad, my brothers and myself were all going to die! What was the point then, I asked him. I believe at this point my brother, who was only seven years older, was wise enough to realize that this was not something he could explain to a less than 7 year old. So, he brought my dad into it. My father explained to me that, yes, we would all die, but not for many, many years. He wanted me to focus on all the good years ahead of me I still had and that seemed calm me down. At the time I was somehow content with having many, many years to live.

Now I am 28 years old and my dad, well, he’s 76 and he’s begun to show signs that, well, he’s 76. The truth is, I’m scared. I’m scared of death. I’m afraid of what it means to lose someone you love and never see them again. See, I’ve been lucky enough to never have lost anyone. Many, many years have gone by and I just let them. One of my brothers recently told me that life is a cycle. We start young, we grow up, we take care of someone important to us, and then we grow old and that person takes care of us. It’s now my turn to take care of my dad. Be there for him like he always was for me. Maybe being a real adult isn’t just about getting bacon on the table, but also about living the cycle.

Every day I am me.

So I must endure what may seem trivial to some,

The weight of emotions,

Which more than often leaves me numb.

As I ponder and speculate,

The words I could not create,

The hunger for meaning I could not satiate,

The trouble my energizer-mouth could not mitigate.

It’s too late.

Do they all know what I tried so hard to hide?

When my mishaps and mistakes coincide?

This mess in my mind,

They’d interpret my mannerisms as lazy,

But the truth is a bit more hazy.

My nerves are like warn yarn, hands slow to knit,

Meanwhile, random rampage of thoughts,

My mind is lit.

I watch you all wishing I was normal,

My affliction, attention deficit.

-N.B.