After eight days
In a foreign land
One begins to believe
Every bad driver endured
On a narrow winding road
Is American

Or a midday pint is proper
Or Guinness
Would do just fine

Rain becomes fair play
And sun, dislodges from the sky
As the strangeness
Of stranger evaporates
With the forward lurching
Of time

Post Traumatic Election Disorder

Post Traumatic Election Disorder; that’s what afflicts me. It’s personal, because see I’m already ready wired for this. In fact, I’ve found myself horribly triggered since the second debate. I’ve been working, working on being aware and I am aware that there is something so keenly terrifying about watching a man lurk with malicious intent around a woman. I am aware that watching his hands grab the back of the chair I am transported to six years old, to terrified at the dinner table, my father clutching my shoulders and pushing down on them with his hulking frame, his hard catcher’s mitt hands insisting that I eat what is on my plate. While the tears stream down my cheeks, my own body’s salt mixing with the fatted meat as he shoves his fingers past my lips, past my teeth.

I’m right back in that place, only I’m really 43 with a safe home, a gentle man, two children of my own, a successful healing practice with beloved clients and friends who love and appreciate me. I have agency and for now, freedom. I have awareness and fortitude to do what my own mother never could. So, I work through the fear, my anger and tears. I write and tell the world my story. Why I believe we need to actively resist the misogynistic bull fist that is threatening to strip us of our dignity, that fist which opposes all I know of what it means to be human. So, I spoke, I did. I said it out loud, I told them, bared it all. Let it go and damn it, I finally understand that cliche, because it’s not my shame, or hers. It’s not okay. My voice was received.

Then I vote. I dress in all white honoring the suffragette. I channel the memory of my Grandmother, Caroline. I thank her for showing me the way, how to argue with dear friends over cocktails at the club that a woman’s body was hers and hers alone. I thank my mother, though she couldn’t leave when I needed her to she has found her own way to work for change, to empower so many of our nation’s daughters. It leaves me anxious, surprisingly vibrating kinetic dread that turns to stricken as the election results trickle in. I wake at 4:30 am Wednesday to pee and peek at my fucking cellphone screen (that someday I will smash with a hammer) to see the most God-awful headline any rape and abuse survivor could see, “President Trump”.

Ode To The Mouse

Ode to the mouse
At the bottom of my recycling bin
It must have been the cold night
That stole your little life
Or was it the headfirst dive
You took inside
The hard plastic bin

Was there comfort for you
Curled against the weekly coupon circular
Did you chill inside your silvery grey fur
Until you could feel no more
Only God’s hand lifting you
To a sunny field
Full of wild grass
And cousins galore

As I stood
Shaking you from the bin
Into the English ivy you spilled
I held in my heart
A tiny prayer
For a rodent resurrection
Surely by spring
You will bloom
And climb with life
Within the divine ivy vine

But until then
Rest your tiny mouse feet
In peace
Free of the felines
Who prowl next-door