Beside Myself

“Beside Myself” Free Verse Poetry, Poetry Workshop, 2002

I’m amazed I didn’t cry
That night when I parked beside the lake
To talk to God.
I needed Him to listen to me
Because you would leave in eight hours.

I knew that fifty-two weeks
Would pass before I could see you or
Kiss you again.
Until you’re home, I’ll close my eyes and
Imagine you walking beside me.

It’s been forty-four weeks since
You left for overseas adventure.
Tell me, baby,
Am I still the only woman who
You can talk to for six hours straight?

More than I need the courage
I prayed for long ago, I need to
Hear your laughter.
It’s hard living without your soft brow
And your scratchy sculptor’s hand in mine.

-Brandi Easterling Collins

My biggest fear

Fear. It can be crippling. It can also change as we age. What’s your biggest fear right now at this moment? Will you have the same answer tomorrow?

When I was little, my biggest fear was abandonment. After my father passed away, my mother remarried the man who would end up raising me and shaping my life in ways I didn’t know were possible at the time. I was only four, which is how old my daughter is now. I didn’t understand everything that had happened. I just had a fuzzy memory of my mother holding me over the side of my father’s hospital bed and telling me to say goodbye. I hadn’t said anything; I’d just waved. Waving instead of speaking is something my daughter does sometimes when she’s apprehensive about something. She’s afraid of the dark and worries when she thinks I am mad at her.

Not long after my mother and stepfather got married, I began having a recurring nightmare. I think I was about six when it began and it happened several times during the next few years. I dreamt about having to go hunting with my stepfather, just the two of us. In the dream, he made me stand under the water in a creek so that he could stand on my shoulders and look for deer through his binoculars. When I couldn’t hold my breath any longer, I pushed him off my shoulders, and he fell into the water and hit his head on the rocks. He wouldn’t wake up. At that point, I would always wake up crying. Pretty twisted for a kid’s dream, huh?

Continue reading “My biggest fear”

Don’t Stress

“Don’t Stress” Villanelle, Metrical Poetry Workshop, 2002

Do not let things get to you dear, don’t stress
About events you cannot work out right.
Take time out for yourself when life’s a mess.

You will make yourself sick. The doctors press
More drugs than needed, which is not too bright.
Do not let things get to you dear, don’t stress.

Mom says “Go treat yourself to a new dress,
But make sure you don’t pick one that’s too tight.”
Take time out for yourself when life’s a mess.

Professors monitor the slow progress
Of papers and reports you’ve yet to write.
Do not let things get to you dear, don’t stress.

Stop missing the lost lover’s sweet caress
And wishing for what’s gone with all your might.
Take time out for yourself when life’s a mess.

Love who loves you, not those you can’t impress.
Your life can be long, live without a fight.
Do not let things get to you dear, don’t stress.
Take time out for yourself when life’s a mess.

What is a Villanelle? A nineteen-line poem with two rhymes throughout, consisting of five tercets and a quatrain, with the first and third lines of the opening tercet recurring alternately at the end of the other tercets and with both repeated at the close of the concluding quatrain.

Disclaimer: I loathe writing metrical poetry. I did the best I could, but wasn’t really happy with anything I wrote during that class. I got a B for my work in class. I respect those who can write metrical poetry and those who enjoy it.