Should Of, Could Of

in a wan wistful voice
swaddled in tarnished regret
the roads not taken
calls out to her
across the years and miles
of seasons past
from a long-ago time
when she was free
young and innocent
not yet compromised
by original sin
man’s heavy hand
or her own conscience
beginning a life of promise
unencumbered
by the weight of wrong choices
and could have beens
and should have beens

she recalls the things
absently gathered
along life’s path
stashed in a Mason jar
shoved under the bed
she takes them out
and one by one
weighs and ponders
the old woman smiles
drops them back inside
the crystal-clear glass
and as she dies
shakes the jar
pours the should ofs
and could ofs
onto the brand new road
and with a saucy grin
takes her first step

©️2020 KT Workman

Image Via Pixabay

Wednesday’s Child

I was not born to be happy…

No bright star shone down on me
When I was dropped headfirst into the world
Red-faced, kicking, screaming
And placed in my mother’s arms—
The only true home I’ve ever known

Instead, a dark star witnessed my birth
Stepped out of hell’s black hole
Took me in its cold bony hands
And christened me “Wednesday’s Child”
Damning me to a life of woe

Not for me fair of face or full of grace
A clumsy witch with frizzy red hair
Who mounts her broom
And beneath an alabaster moon
Runs wild with the night

Night understands, night knows
What beats inside my heart
What tangles and twists my soul
It doesn’t question, doesn’t judge
Night is my beloved familiar

There’s a certain comfort in failure
A happiness inside misery
A pleasure in numb emotions
For a Wednesday’s Child
Who has serenely accepted her fate

For…
I was not born to be happy

©️2020 KT Workman

Image via Pixabay

Little Girl Lost

she was born into the salty soup of summer
with sunlight dancing in her fiery hair
green grass waving in her bright eyes
and berries staining her smiling lips

she ran free with the wild things
collecting golden memories in her mind
and silver linings around her clouds
life was as it should be

one day she strayed from sunny meadows
into deep shadowed woods
where she became lost
among the black twisted trees

she stumbled through the dark
crying out as thorny fingers
gouged her tender flesh
she called out for help that never came

the grimy moonlight washed away innocence
washed away kindness and charity
washed away hopes and dreams
and washed away trust

she fell in with hyenas dressed in wolves’ clothing
echoed their crazy laughter
while turning her back on all that was right and good
all that was clean

she rolled in the dirt
soiling what once had been pure
what once had been a shining soul
there was no place in her life for that now

©️2019 KT Workman

Photo via Pixabay

Freedom

A crack zigzags across the old sidewalk
And wrenches apart the hot concrete,
Exposing a tiny sliver of earth
That for years untold
Has known only crushing pain and darkness.

While above . . . days pass, weeks pass,
And Summer relinquishes its sovereignty to Autumn.
Leaves fall; scarlet and saffron and umber tears
Scurry and dance across the sad gray surface.
Revivified wings flap overhead, rain patters down.

A frigid gale rides in on the back of the North Wind.
Ice crystals settle in the divide, cold elbows
Pushing against the argentine walls
That are desperately struggling to hold together.
The frozen earth shivers beneath this fresh onslaught.

While above . . . days pass, weeks pass,
And Winter reluctantly surrenders its silver crown to Spring.
Lightning splits the sky, thunder rolls and rumbles.
A deluge pounds the sidewalk; a cool river races through the cleft,
Torturously prying it open to the warming world.

The raw earth nestled in the crack feels a pleasant stirring.
A tiny fledgling breaks its surface and stretches toward the sun.
Oaken soldiers flanking the sidewalk tip their glossy green heads
To watch the miracle of birth arising from the ashes of neglect.
The dandelion nods its golden head . . . free at last.

©️2019 KT Workman

Photo via Pixabay

Crow

crow comes at night
invisible in the darkness
slips in the window
while she sleeps
burrows its sharp beak
into her seasoned flesh
and tears at
the most tender morsels…
doubts
insecurities
fears
savors the sour flavors
of being hurt
of being fooled
of being played
again…
she learns not to sleep
stays ever vigilant
least crow
swallow everything
her pride
her independence
her reason
her life…
in the morning light
sometimes she wonders
if crow is real
is a force without
or instead
lives within
a black cancer
of bone and blood
cawing chaos, while
beating sharp wings
within each breath
scraping claws
through fragile capillaries
frantic to escape
its self-made
prison…

©️2019 KT Workman

Photo via Pixabay

Death Becomes Her

death becomes her…
smoothed the seams
that lined a tired face
erased the hurt
from eyes of green flint
hushed the blush
that colored angry cheeks
purged the pain
of a life, empty and spent

death becomes her…
hollow hope packed
its overstuffed bags
romantic ruminations
stepped out the door
borrowed tomorrows
went on vacation
and now sleeps serenely
beneath sandy shores

© 2019 KT Workman

Photo via Pixabay

June Bug

buzzing June bug
of iridescent green
whispers softly
“come fly with me”
over rolling hills
and deep valleys
over canting barns
and garden patches
over grazing cattle
and pecking chickens
to a time and place
that slumbers gently
in my mind
of
endless summer days
and long dusty roads
cool shaded woods
and gurgling rocky streams
possum-grape vines
and blackberry thickets
an old weathered house
perched on the hill
of my distant childhood
so fondly remembered
viewed through
rose-colored lenses
of kindly Time

©️2019 KT Workman

Photo via Pixabay

Anymore

She doesn’t live here anymore
In this dark, empty place of
Broken-promise windows,
And doors half-shut
On tomorrow’s faded dreams
That hold no future.

Jaded termites feast on
Sad, mistrustful walls.
Wormwood floorboards sag
Under pretentious pulpy lies,
While the patched and parched roof
Is slowly caving in on it all.

The only thing yet
Standing proud and tall
Is the rusty chainlink fence.
A survivor of countless wars,
It girdles the old, forgotten house,
Keeping the monsters at bay.

Though…
She doesn’t live here anymore.

©️2019 KT Workman

Photo via Pixabay

Wings

the wings are still there
propped in a dark corner
of a forgotten room
since childhood

tattered and moth-eaten
dull gray with dust
feathers drooping
beneath Time’s weight

they whisper of a dream
where anything is possible
where I can fly
if only I believe

and possess a child’s courage
to strap on gossamer wings
constructed of faith and innocence
and leap blindly into space

© 2019  KT Workman

 

Roads

a child knows nothing
about the consequences
of the many roads
she will walk in life
until the end
when the last road is chosen
and for better or worse
she arrives at her destination

no more roads left to walk
she then ponders
those fearlessly taken
the ones passed by, unexplored
the hurtful ones
paved with nails and glass
and she realizes that long ago
she lost her way

too late now
she knows, too many times
she picked the wrong roads
always in a hurry
she veered left on a whim
right on a wish
and she has only herself to blame
for this damned dead end

©2019 KT Workman

The Old Woman

The old woman rises at dawn
Cooks breakfast for the old man
As she stirs the bubbling gravy
Turns the sizzling bacon
Her eyes stray to the open window
Where the new-plowed earth waits

Dishes stacked in the sink
She joins the old man
Beneath the cerulean sky
Laying out the rows
Mounding the hills
Dropping in the seeds

As the days grow longer and warmer
The old woman weeds and waters
Tending the green growing plants
With love and care
As if they were her children
Who all have grown and gone

The old woman picks the lettuce first
Along with green onions
She drizzles them with bacon drippings
And while they eat in front of the TV
She and the old man
Talk of long-ago gardens

A passel of barefoot kids
Running up and down the rows
More hindrance than help
So sent off to play
While the young old woman and old man
Do the work

In the height of summer
The old woman picks juicy tomatoes
And the last of the cucumbers
She and the old man
Eat them with a little salt
While watching Wheel of Fortune

The old woman rises at dawn
Cooks breakfast for the old man
As she stirs the plopping oatmeal
Butters the toast
Her eyes stare through the frosty glass
At the barren, snow-covered garden

Arthritis torments the old woman’s joints
Her heart flutters in an unsteady rhythm
Keeping time with a lonely mind
That is muddled with yesterdays
She wonders if she will see another spring
Or if she even wants to

©️2019 KT Workman