The Coat Hanger

Left hand, right hand …
you were taught to work.

Life is like a coat hanger.

Left hand, right hand …
pick up, put down,
bend and push,
left hand, right hand …
count to five,
reach for the sky,
look what a big girl you are.

And life’s a coat hanger.

Left hand …
write more pretty words,
don’t be a brat.
Right hand …
keep going, just keep going,
it will make us proud.

Left hand, right hand …
cut, chop, stir,
cut and cut,
and leave until it all boils over.
Left hand, right hand …
everybody leaves,
everybody heals.

Life’s still a coat hanger.

Right hand …
what have you forgotten?
Sign here, please.
Right hand …
stretch out, grab and hold on.
Have you turned off the stove?
Have you fallen in love?
Left hand …
what is forever?
What do you believe?
Left hand …
push the stroller down the street,
turn the wheel.

A coat hanger.

Left hand, right hand …
flip the pages,
cry.
Left hand …
you’ve done well,
sometimes slightly better.
Right hand …
but it’s not always enough.
We thought you were happy.

Left hand, right hand.
Life’s a coat hanger.
You are the coat.

Fear of Floating

Her uneasy soul was light as a balloon,
destined to float away and try to reach the moon;
his was like an anchor beneath the bright blue sea,
as strong and steady as a deeply rooted tree.
When she feared she’d slip away in life’s uncertain mist,
she would, for safety, tie herself around his wrist.

But life has its ways of spinning the heads
and tangling together unfitting threads.
She never meant to hurt, mislead, to be unfair.
It would be an ugly lie to say she didn’t even care.
She hung on every praise, on every word he’d say,
but he wanted to be needed in another way.

When he found what he was looking – the one that wouldn’t run.
the tie of former friendship had to come undone.
She had no right to cry, no right to truly mind.
Now she had to trust the winds to treat her kind,
and fly into the clouds that she’s been yearning.
But what if now she’ll have no way of returning?

Writer’s Block

Sometimes,
when the words get stuck,
I force them out of me
to tell the silent world
of my fear of losing;
to tell
how scared I am
of people walking out on me,
and of the loneliness
that lurks behind.
But the fickle little things
refuse to rhyme,
so I crumble up the paper
and toss it far way,
leaving myself
sitting here
without a way
to say I’m sorry,
without a way
to ask them
not to leave,
or to beg for them
to stay …

This Language That I Love

It limits us,
they said,
this language that you love.

(I couldn’t nod
or bear to tell them yes.)

We can’t say anything
if we haven’t got the words.

(But have you ever even tried,
and struggled with your tongue
to say and not just speak?)

There is just so much
that’s left unsaid …

(Because you never
search for it
in between the lines.)

… and so many things
that have no names.

(Let me ask –
does the world create the language,
or the other way around?)

It limits us,
they said.
But it frees me,
I responded,
this language that I love.