On Anger

I’m angry
because my parents didn’t want me
like all children should be dreamed and coveted
I was the fruit of duty
conceived one spring evening
after church
I was born
on Sunday

I’m angry
because my mother didn’t love me
like all girls should be
adored and mentored
because her mother didn’t love her
the latest in a long matriline
of hollow faceless dolls
filling their withered daughters
with dry, empty breath

I’m angry
because I couldn’t run free
always the good one
trimmed of messy edges
neat and symmetrical
a patch in the family quilt
weakly sewn together
pulled in all directions

I’m angry
because no one could comfort me
and my self-soothing
dramatic pleas for help
sudden welts
closed-up bronchi
spasmed colon
and fits of self-mutilation
inspired rejection
instead of redemption

I’m angry
because my father didn’t
straighten his back for me didn’t
widen his shoulders for me
never taught me
to stand up protected
my boundaries too permeable
for safety or resilience
letting in all manner of
pestilence
virus, bacteria
free radicals
and human plague

I’m angry
because the world taught me
I’m a girl
I’m not allowed
beauty and brilliance
I’m not afforded
affection and respect
I’m second to any mediocrity in the room
if it has a penis
and a deep voice

I’m angry
because circumstance
was not the way it should have been
happenstance
rarely just or logical
so much imperfection and harm
easily avoided
or remedied

But as I reflect
relax my tightened triceps
accept
everything
was exactly
as it had to be
and I’m okay

I’m free

because
I’m no longer
angry.

© S.Rinderle, 2013

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The Thaw

When you don’t know
what good feels like
love burns
like lukewarm water
applied gently
to frostbitten fingers
not the fault of the water
nor the frozen flesh but
still it recoils in shock
traumatic contrast
to the status quo
of dying cells
rigid stone
numbing off to rotted sleep

When you don’t know
what it’s like to feel good
suffering is normal
breathing toxic air
is just breathing
thinking
you’re to blame
for your shortness of breath
failing of lungs
weakness in your
fragile, flabby trunk
that you pad
for self-protection

But one day
a blessed recipe
essential oil
of patience, hope and grace
invites a fresh whiff
an awe-some imagination
of expanded ribs
agile, nourished limbs
you can believe
the once impossible
aided by the persistent kindness
of warm hands
and close-lidded kisses
scales fall from your eyes
tears unclog
and you inhale all the way
into life
revive
a vigor and vibrance
that was awkward fantasy before

gradually
finally
your fingers thaw
and you grasp life firmly
with both hands

© S.Rinderle, 2013