December 16, 2010

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop - 12/16/10 - Five Words Just Simply Aren't Enough

It's time for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. The prompt I chose today:

Describe yourself in five words. Choose one, and write a poem.

Of course I cheated. That's just how this scofflaw operates. I wrote TWO poems, because I'm too complicated to describe myself in just five words. And wanting to tell the bad news first, I gave the negative poem top billing!

Five Words, Take One: Wife, mother, neighbor, isolated, deceiver.

Ask me how I am, go ahead, ask me
and I'll say I'm OK - That's the first lie
Husband, kids, life, going as well as can be
I'll ask about you and your family's well-being

While we make idle chatter, while I make "nice"
the black thoughts in my head do not cross my lips.

I will smile, and you may not notice the guarded look in my eyes
that shows I am being deceptive
I am so alone in a crowd, hollow inside
Wanting to shout out how I really feel
But being afraid of rejection, or worse
Seeing the look of fear and dismay directed toward me

Clinical depression is the most likely explanation
So I get up each day, despite the effort
Disorganized, unproductive hours stretching before me
Muddling through, avoiding the most mundane of tasks
From lack of strength or interest in their completion
That's my truth

Wave to me as I drive through the neighborhood
and I'll wave in return, all friendly like
As is the custom
I wonder if you'd wave first
If you really knew me

Or would you avert your eyes and simply lower your hand if I waved first?

After all, nobody likes a whiner.
Buck up, put on my big girl panties
And keep my mouth shut about what is really going down
Weaving deceit in innocent conversations,
in an attempt to hide my truth.
Closing the blinds against the glare of closer inspection.

Five Words, Take Two: Silly, Protective, Patient, Compassionate, Resilient.

Yes, I'm the one to call when you have bad news
I'll try to make you see the silver lining in your cloudy day.
I'll bring the lemons, we'll make the lemonade - just watch for the seeds
My attention to detail fails me at times

World got you down? I'll come to your defense
Hugs, kind words and cake available for delivery
I'll regale you with tales where I was a major screwup
Suddenly, you'll feel so much better (even if it's at my expense)

I'm up for an adventure, a drive to sunny climes
Taking unknown roads just to see where they go
Never lost, we're always just HERE
And once I figure out where 'here' is, we'll be on our way

Tolerating bad behavior and meltdowns a specialty
My voice softens, that calm, soothing voice
Like the voice that mental health professionals learn
To ease patients' anxiety or aggression

The Boy has benefited from my benevolence
Even when I am dictatorial and tell him what to do
I patiently nag until compliance is achieved
Endlessly repeating lessons that he needs to learn

I'll fight 'til my dying day to keep him safe
To help him navigate in a world he sometimes doesn't understand
He'll learn compassion if I have to beat it into his head
Figuratively speaking, of course

When I've been knocked down, I get up
Cockeyed optimism sometimes supercedes reason
I CAN get through anything
Just give me time, spite is a great motivator

Look for me in a large group
I'll be in the corner, quietly making smartass comments
Come closer, and I'll have you smiling
Perhaps we could be friends?


  1. not good mama.. ifyou EVER need to just vent I as a fellow sufferer and mom of a bipolar child have an open ear and shoulder just so you know..

  2. I love this line ..Never lost, we're always just HERE
    And once I figure out where 'here' is, we'll be on our way

    It does sometimes take time to find out where you are going.

  3. Friggin hell, lady. you rock. you are the Sylvia Plath of the middle-aged ladies who continue to choose life.


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