Miss Lisa (monkeysugarmama) wrote,
Miss Lisa
monkeysugarmama

LJ Idol - Week 9 - My Scars


At Grandma's House

There is a photo of me…
No, not me, but of someone that I was...
framed in the guest room
At Grandma’s house.

The pink paint casts a rosy glow
on everything in the room;
a frilly coverlet, pale oak dresser,
a family portrait.

In it, I stand by my husband,
in jeans and bare feet,
holding my daughter, just three months old.
I am smiling; a beatific smile, a proud smile,
a smile of such happiness and optimism and...

…and such goddamned naiveté
that the last time I looked,
really looked, at myself frozen in that moment,
I was tempted to seize the pointy scissors
from Grandma's dresser drawer
and scratch my fucking face off.

That smile.

That smile that had not yet learned the meaning of
responsibility, sacrifice, frustration.
Big words, big lessons, and some smaller ones too,
like envy, fury and grief.

That smile that didn’t believe the “real world” existed.
Thought it was a curse spewed by people to be pitied,
A fable to frighten those of us
who wanted to lead a life less ordinary.

That smile that had never been unemployed,
With a broken down car,
creditors on the phone,
And an empty box of diapers by the changing table.

That smile that had never seen a baby with no heartbeat
Dead in the womb, in my womb, for two weeks
- TWO WEEKS –
before anyone realized.

Oh passionate idealist, oh poor silly girl.
You didn’t see that the “real world” was right there,
skulking just outside the aperture of the lens all along.
Life goes on, but you can’t crop out pain or fear.

That smile.

Now my smile feels like a scar.
A raw place where a wound has healed on the surface,
but below the skin, where no one else can see,
the tender flesh has yet to mend.

That girl in the frame…Who is she? Where did she go?
Life howls around me now like the wolf at Grandma’s door.
I fear I might just let him in.
I fear that he already is.
And then my daughter slips her hand into mine.

A tiny gesture that scatters my shattered thoughts.
She is Little Red with shiny shoes and baby blues,
her basket full of the most delightful goodies,
like fairy dust and dreams and the ability to believe.

She is everything that is good about me,
Unbroken, undaunted, hopeful.
Endless possibility made flesh.
The world is her playground.

And that smile.
That smile!
That goofy, dimpled grin.
What she doesn’t know helps me to forget,
helps me to remember.

There is a photo of me…
Yes, me, of someone I still am…sometimes.
Framed in the guest room
At Grandma’s house.

 
 red



  
Tags: acceptance, children, creativity, fear, lj idol, motherhood, peanut, poetry
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  • Here we GO!

    Looks like it's that time again... Strapping on my safety helmet and big girl panties to be a contestant on The Real LJ Idol again, woot!

  • Kentucky

    I've been meaning to share these pictures! We spent the Fourth in southern Kentucky on Dale Hollow Lake. It was gorgeous there - cool, clear water,…

  • Mouse Soup

    So I had this mama come in the library yesterday. She was checking out about 20 of our little beginning reader books - the very easiest ones with…