People Like Us

Archive for the month “April, 2014”

The Battle

“The Battle”

Karen Muston, 2001

 

In misty pre-dawn

light

I peer into a

silvery depth–

They are here again

this time their number

has multiplied.

My heart pounds,

and I run

to escape the

Dark Purpose of

their visit

I shudder to think

of surrender,

Of the repercussions.

My pace too slow,

they attack my

lower extremities,

in a scarring,

hailstorm force

that becomes

hideously disfiguring

I battle valiantly,

with a hunger

to be victorious.

I run faster

until they suffer

violently

in their retreat.

Cautiously,

I slow my pace

and return once

again

The Victor

in the

Cellulite Battlefield.

 

Watch Me, Mama

“Watch me Mama,” she calls

and I watch

as she performs great, acrobatic feats

her sunlit brown hair dances

around sparkling hazel eyes

in a face whose beauty

has only begun to bloom

I am watching

only I see the cherub she once was

with an angelic, toothless smile

chubby legs attempt those first steps

as she reaches for me–

“Are you watching, Mama?”

She leaps again and

with a bittersweet smile

I see the young woman

she will be–

Sweet-spirited, with a tender heart

and a fine mind to aid her

so much love to give

those blessed ones

she will share her life with

I am watching

every performance

Engraving these images

so that I will not

miss a thing.

Karen Muston, 2001

His Dance (The Baylorian, 2001)

“HIS DANCE”

With uninhibited energy he leaps and gyrates

to a popular, classic rock beat

His pre-adolescent body

Like unfinished architecture

covered only by briefs

His face aglow, eyes dancing,

his impish grin, that mischievous expression

so well known to me.

Laughingly, I watch

beset by memories and passing time

A time before muscular limbs

replaced chubby, dimpled legs

when that mischievous expression

could be found in

a rounder, more innocent face

sprinkled with angel kisses

And quick, firm hugs

replaced soft, delayed embraces

When we danced to nursery songs

and I was his world.

I watch him

and then, still laughing,

I join him there

and together

we dance.

~Karen Muston

2001 The Baylorian

Journey’s End

My father’s ashes felt warm in my hands. This is what death feels like, I thought. I rolled the plastic over in my hand and wondered at how a man with such power in my life could be condensed to little more than a gallon-sized storage bag. I put the plastic bag back into the cardboard box and placed it on the floor in the back seat.

Flat, frozen land flashed past us on the way to the cemetery. It was a cold day in January and all the foliage had withered to brittle shades of brown. The shrill sound of a train whistle pierced the silence. “We should put his ashes in that train car over there,” my husband said with a smile. His large, calloused hand patted my leg, and his blue eyes twinkled in an attempt to make me smile. “After all, it would be fitting. He never did want to be in one place for very long.” I nodded and smiled ruefully. He was right, my father would travel no more.

I glanced back at the box that contained what was left of my father. I wanted to feel something besides the hollow tightening in the pit of my stomach.  I wished for home. My mind flashed involuntarily to my father’s sunken face, his gasping for air with lungs that betrayed him, gnarled hands clutching, and my betrayal in the end. I could smell death. I momentarily fought nausea. Cigarette ashes, that’s what he looked like now. How ironic, I thought. I can’t ever remember seeing him without a cigarette in his hand.


 

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