Dance With Me in Springtime

I’d wake from a nap at the start of an early Spring shower

Shoes off I’d run for the screen door

Just to stand out in the middle of it

You’d scratch your head and wonder how you could have waited so long to live with me

You’d realize that even though I needed you

You needed me even more

The dog and I would continue dancing and singing to our own tune

Out in the rain

Splashing in the mud

There I’d be

The city girl bathed in springtime

Breathless and full of spirit

Yes you’d again wonder why you waited so long to live with me

As I swayed and sang I’d wonder the same thing

But then I’d look at you standing on the back porch

And my apprehension would dissolve

I’d crook my finger to tell you to come to me

And you would

Without reservation

And with all of your heart

To dance with me in Springtime

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Red Lights on a Rainy Night

MacKenzie is trying hard to keep herself together as she drives home down a familiar back road. Her hands are white knuckled as she grips her steering wheel. It’s windy, unusually dark and raining. Normally it exhilarates her. Makes her senses come alive, but tonight all she feels is fear. Her heart is racing as she drives down the familiar road. It is slick with rain and the wind is blowing the autumn leaves across it. It makes driving hazardous and difficult to see the center line. Up ahead she sees red flashing lights of the emergency railroad signals.  The signals are flashing their crimson warning as the arms descend and come to rest. She presses the brake and stops in front of the signal. The lights from it become smeared as the wipers swipe her windshield.

She screams, “fuck this shit!”, as she slams her hands on the steering wheel.

“Why can’t I stop this endless spiral of fear, shame, anxiety and pain?”, she exclaims to herself.

She is so damn angry. The red emergency signals are flashing, and the arms are still lowered. It’s not raining anymore, though the wind is high. And the autumn leave are flying everywhere. She puts her car in park and cranks up the radio. She hears a familiar song. A new one by P!nk. It’s become her new favorite. MacKenzie opens her door and runs to the tracks. The train is still a good distance away.  But she can see the lights. Hear the warning of its horn. She steps in the middle of the tracks as the wind whips in her hair. She feels a few drops of rain on her cheeks and then her heart begins to slow. A train is coming at her and her anxiety begins to wain.

“Why is that God?”, she screams into the night.

“Why have you fucked me up like this? Why am I so fucking backwards?”, she cries as she throws her middle fingers into the air.

She hears the train as it come closer.  The engine, the wheels churning on the tracks, and the horn. The engineer keeps blaring the horn, but she doesn’t move. MacKenzie finally feels peace. With the wind in her hair, rain on her face, music blaring on the radio, and the red lights blinking all around her. The train is so close she can see the face of the engineer and his fear. He puts on the brakes, and sparks fly from beneath the wheels and their contact with the tracks. She doesn’t move. He honks his horn one last time.

She smiles, and sings “Blow me, one last kiss”.

Then just like that, it’s over. She’s gone. She has peace.

The Singing Butler

I live in a world of heartbreak… I just seem to be more creative when I’m in some kind of emotional distress.-Jack Vettriano

There Tracy and I stood in the gallery gazing at the original painting of The Singing Butler. We held hands. Because that made us feel closer. We smelled the salt in the air. We felt it on our skin, and in our hair. We could hear the sound of the surf in our ears. We saw the maid and the butler with the umbrellas, but we held none. We reveled in the rain. The sweet mist that covered our skin with the sea salt in the air. We saw the couple dancing, and their embrace. We couldn’t see her face, but we knew she was ravishing. For how could a man, a simple man in morning clothes want to dance with her on the beach, in the rain? His love for her must have been immeasurable.

So there Tracy and I stood. And felt what they felt. And knew the love that those two dancers knew. For we felt it ever day with the men that loved us. How we wished to be that ravishing, dark haired woman. But then, we already were.

Raindrops and Red Lipstick

Rain drops on the window

She touches it gently with her fingertips

She finds the window chilled by the Fall rain

Her mind wanders to warm summer days and warmer kisses

Memories of love

And him

Her mouth, close to the glass leaves steam on the window

She draws an over-sized heart

Then places a kiss in the middle of it

The cold glass is stained with her red lipstick along with the vapor

She draws an arrow  through it before the heart disappears

Then just like that, it’s gone

All that remains are her lip prints

And bitter sweet memories

I’m Not Sure Where I End and She Begins

Meggie said, “Momma, you’re cray cray.”

I told her, “I know that baby girl, but you are just like me, so watch what you say.”

She smiled and said, “I’m glad I’m like you.”

It’s eerie how alike Meggie and I are. She used to loathe it when friends and family would tell her that. Now she embraces it.

Friday, I got the joy of spending  24 hours with her. We took a road trip to Lansing/Charlotte for  Cato, her Husky pup to compete in his first dog show. We turned on Pandora Radio and sang the whole way there. Sara Barielles radio first and then Garth Brooks’ radio. The first lines of Gravity came on:

Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.
No matter what I say or do I’ll still feel you here ’til the moment I’m gone.

Meg and I sing it together while we’re driving down I-96 in the rain. We’re feeding Cato pieces of Twizzlers strawberry licorice. I don’t know why, but the song by Sara Barielles always makes me cry. Meggie tells me I’m a sap, and then we harmonized for the rest of the song. I love singing with her. I miss her, but we get along so much better now that we don’t live together anymore.

She switches to Garth radio and I’m transported back in time to when she was young. Whenever we were on a road trip, didn’t matter the length of time or distance, we always played a Garth cd. The song Unanswered Prayers comes on and she says it reminds her of Daddy. I tell her it does me too, and then I tell her about the time he and I sang it at some bar on karaoke night. She laughed.

Sometimes I thank God, for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts, are unanswered prayers.

We talked about life. About her upcoming wedding, school, and work. She also told me that she didn’t want to hear about my writing all the time. She knew it made me happy, that I was good at it, that it was my passion, but it got annoying to hear about it all the time. I said, excuse me? You’re the one that has to tell me all about the stupid raw food diet that you give your dogs. And you have to tell me about how smart your dogs are. And the fact that you’re going to learn everything there is about showing Cato because you want him to be a champion. That’s the thing about us, when we’re passionate about something, we talk about it incessantly. It annoys the fuck out of everyone around us. But we really don’t care.

We grabbed food at the Cracker Barrel before heading to our hotel. We figured what the hell, we might as well eat good food that was bad for us. Take out of course because of Cato Potato. We couldn’t leave him in the car. Meg was like a worried momma, she had to keep looking out the window of the restaurant to make sure he was okay. We had fun shopping while waiting for our food to be prepared. Finally with the food packaged up and paid for we headed to the car. I said look Cato is sitting there being a good boy. As I opened the car door I realized why Cato was being so good. He had opened the bucket of Twizzlers and was chowing down. Meg and I laughed hysterically. It was so fun to be with my girl and laugh about her silly dog.

We didn’t get much sleep because Cato was anxious and wouldn’t settle down. Me being the good momma, got out of bed and took him outside every half hour while Meggie slept. He finally settled and cuddled up with me on my bed. I got about four hours of sleep but figured I’d sleep when I’m dead. It was a big day for Meg and Cato.

She and I got ready without killing each other. It was nothing like when she was a teenager. It’s a wonder we didn’t beat the shit out of each other when she was a kid.

All in all we had a great day. Cato did well and I got to see Megan feeding her passion. She did great and so did he. A friend of mine from high school is mentoring her and teaching everything she knows about showing dogs. I hadn’t seen Linda in 28 years. It was good to reconnect and see her interacting so well with Megan. Linda treated Meg like a daughter. That made me so very proud.

Meg told me thank you for all the help and that she loved me. Said it was so great to spend time with me. She missed her “Mommy” time because now she’s so damn busy. We loaded up the car and the exhausted Cato dog and headed home. We turned on Pandora and listened to Garth radio again. Sang songs all the way home and then laughed our asses off when I picked up my ice tea and proceeded to spill then entire cup into my purse. I spilled it on my pants too. She looked at me, laughed and said I look like peed on myself. I was laughing so hard I told her I might have, but I couldn’t be sure because of all the fucking ice tea everywhere.

Cato slept the whole way back to Livonia, Meggie and I sang and talked. She told me to stop drinking so much coffee because it was going to give me wrinkles, and that I had to re-hydrate my skin every day. I told her to shut the fuck up. She then got on Google found an article about it and gave me hell. I told her I would only drink 40 oz. of coffee a day instead of 80 oz. She just shook her head at me and told me to wear moisturizer. The she said, Mom you’re beautiful and you have no wrinkles, you want to stay wrinkle free for as long as you can. I looked at her and asked, how the hell did you get so smart? She said, Google Mom. Google is Goodle. I told her she was a dork.

We got back to Livonia in record time. Unpacked, hugged, kissed and said our goodbyes. Had to give hugs and kisses to Cato and Delilah the Wonder Huskies too.

After I dropped her off and headed back to Tecumseh I realized that she was one of the best things I’d ever done in my life. I thought back to the day she was born and was laid on my stomach. I was scared to death of what kind of mother I would be, but by God I was going to do my very best to love and raise her up right. I remember the feel of her in my arms that first time I held her. I remember Roger Darling carrying her around the delivery room and calling her his little girl. And then I snapped back to the present and realized that I got my wish. That I did raise her up right. That she may be quite a bit like me but she ultimately is her own woman.