Photo by soheyl dehghani on Unsplash

The old pain
long gone but remembered in pixelated detail by this body
synapses fired
messages sent
distress from the root to all its arterial legions
awoken and fighting in moments.

Even the old emotions are stirred
feelings of loss, mourning, regret, despair
so indelibly linked to this particular cache of symptoms
echoing back more than 40 years
years I can barely remember
but my body remembers every agonizing detail of this malady
I am young
and scared
and cannot see a path forward
through this dark forest of affliction

I call in the big guns
my ancient wisdom
my heart mother

Photo by Quinton Coetzee on Unsplash

Have you ever seen a photo of yourself that captured everything that matters about you? While cleaning out my attic this spring I found just that photo. I believe I’m in about the third or fourth grade. I’m wearing my beloved tennis shoe roller skates. I remember getting these. No more metal! No more keys! I am also wearing bellbottoms and my favorite velour turtle neck. I am at the top of our dead-end street, with the field behind, at the beginning of the gentle descent. The day is overcast and I’m sure cold. The wind has blown my hair…

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

You’ve done it. You’ve cut into that beautiful peach that looks so ripe and delicious only to find an inside that is rotten. You toss it in the bin, or worse yet, eat it anyway and experience the mealy texture and foul taste. Sometimes it is hard to tell with peaches.

People can be like this. The friend that trades your confidences freely in gossip circles, the family member who borrows money that is never paid back, the people we count on who make promises they fail to keep. …

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Emotions are on overload

bubbling and churning violently beneath the surface

all fall into fail-safe mode

Some make jokes

some get busy

some get tired

some leave

She sits

Her eyes are tired

and scared

no help is coming

no plans left to be made

all that remains is a series of next things

the banal

the ordinary

her fail-safe mode is to fight

but she is not allowed even that

I watch

but I am not just a narrator

I am an active player

what is my role?

a rough assistant in banal things

but more than that


Photo by Sarah Gualtieri on Unsplash

Open. I really like this word. It is probably my favorite. It holds within its four letters an invitation, a call, a welcome. Words that mean the same tend to by overt antitheses of its opposite; unlocked, unbolted, unlatched, not closed, unfastened. If we are talking about doors and gates, these states of being are reassuring and logically straightforward. But if we are talking about ideas and experiences, leaving the mind’s gate ajar becomes an important mental construct. It is only when we are open enough to understand another’s perspective that we can find common ground and be a part…

Photo by Diogo Sousa on Unsplash

The wind was not great
But it got me out here
To the middle of this ocean
This wide expanse
This lonely forever

First, the wind shifted
Into an intermittent breeze
And then it stopped altogether
My sails hang lifeless
From this old mast.

Adrift, I am given over
To my thoughts
Not quite to despair
But to my old pensive state
I’ve been here before

The view from here
Is unchanging
I exist in the realm
Between consciousness
And unconsciousness

I resent being in this state
The wind is cruel
Unrelenting one moment
And absent the next
And me carelessly dependent…

Photo by Mads Schmidt Rasmussen on Unsplash

I grew up going to church. I was an acolyte. That means during services I would wear a robe and cross, light and extinguish candles, hold the giant Bible for the pastor to read from, and help serve communion. I always felt very special when it was my turn to acolyte. I liked wearing the robe and felt honored to go behind the altar to serve. I wasn’t particularly religious in my day to day life but in these moments as an acolyte, I felt like I was participating in something not quite of this world.

My mom was the…

Angie Smartt

I’m just a person who ponders. angiesmartt.com

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