The little things

She delights in the little things during her brief respite

Between academic courses and arduous hours of work

 

Like cream dispersing into coffee, swirling, marbled

And letting her body wake, not to the sound of an alarm

 

Folding laundry, warm and heady from the dryer

Late night interludes with her loud mouth cat

 

Fixing dinner for herself, crafting, creating and dining

The quiet laughter of a group of friends, together and apart

 

She loves the feeling of her extended showers,  steamed perfection

And the pages of silken books that slip through her fingers

 

There’s the tender kiss of her boyfriend’s mouth to her’s

As well as his sleeping search for her, to cuddle, to hold

 

She delights in the little things during her brief respite

Between academic courses and arduous hours of work

A prologue to Junior year

Prologue

Junior year of high school, people said that this was going to be the best time of my life.

If it is, then I am screwed…

When her father had abandoned their not so little family two years ago, her mother told her it was for the best.  When, only a few months later, her mother had found out she was pregnant for fifth time, she had told her eldest daughter that it was a blessing.  When her mother insisted on moving three hours away from the only home she’d ever known, she had told her seventeen year old it would be an adventure.  The night before the start of her junior year in her brand new high school, Crowley High, her mother had regaled her with stories from her own junior year, reminding her that it was the best time of her life.

Variel Estevez, age seventeen, knew that while her mother tried to be optimistic about all of these changes in the past two years, the underlying truth was far from what her mother spoke of.  Her father leaving, her new baby brother Elian, and the move to the yellow house on the corner of Burkes Way and Crest Corner were just the latest in a long line of life altering changes that were not for the better.

Two weeks into her junior year, she found her mother constantly telling her that it was going to be the best year of her life.  Seventeen, junior year, a gorgeous young girl at the prime of her life, poised for flight.  Although she knew she was being rude, Variel just nodded to placate her mother every time she said a variation of those words.

In reality, Vary, the more Americanized nick name she’d adopted from her father at age five, prayed that her mother was wrong.  This hellish nightmare that constituted seven and half hours of classes a day, mountains of homework at night, and the care and management of her three younger sister and radically younger brother could not be the best parts of her life; it was simply too much for Vary to fathom most morning.  To continue the list of horrific things about junior year, there was pressure for college applications, she hadn’t made a single friend in her two weeks at school, and she just didn’t fit in.

Her mother chastised Vary about her melodramatics almost every night when her eldest daughter gave her a daily report.

“Now Variel, stop being such a drama queen.  Every single teenagers feels like they don’t fit in.  You’ll find your niche soon enough Niña.  Don’t worry that pretty little head of yours.  Go try out for a club, ask to study with a cute boy!”

Vary sighed haughtily and nodded to her mother before returning to either homework, food preparation, or caring for one or more of her siblings.  While her mother worked day and night shifts at the newspaper she had been transferred too, Vary had been charged with taking care of her siblings.  On top of homework and school and simply getting through her days, Vary’s mother had announced her desire to get back into the dating scene.

One Sunday evening after the announcement, Vary was readying her little sibling for bed.  Unlike Marisol, Irena, and Lupe, Eli didn’t complain about classes, homework, social life, or his desire for anything more.  At just a little over a year old, Eli was finally sleeping through the nights and was working one words with more than one syllable.  It was peaceful taking care of him, a few moments of reprieve from the hectic world of her eleven to fifteen year old sisters.  His dark eyes were full of sleepy blinks as she changed his diaper one last time, snapping him back into the cotton onesie.  Vary spoke to him softly.  Instead of a lullaby each night, she found a solace in unloading her problems to him.  He offered no judgment, just a calming sort of silence permeated with baby giggles or snores.

“I still haven’t really made friends with anyone Eli.  It sucks.  I just wander around the school like a ghost.  All the teachers keep harping about college and grades and I feel like there is so much pressure on me to do all of this and more.  I don’t even know if I want to go to college.  Don’t tell Mama that, she’ll hang me.

“I know she says that this is supposed to be the best time of life.  It had better not be.  Or I’m royally screwed for the next fifty to seventy five years.

_

Junior year of high school, people told me that this was going to be the best time of my life.

Damn straight it was!

Ingrid’s older sister Charlotte had bestowed this wisdom to her ‘baby’ sister during the middle of the summer before junior year.  Ingrid, tossing her flaming red hair behind pale shoulders and smiled and replied, “Of course it will be!”

All her life, Ingrid had had the best of everything.  Since her oldest sister was out of college by the time she had started high school, there had been no competition in who the favorite daughter had been.  And why should junior year of high school be any different?

At almost seventeen, her birthday was at the end of September and one of the biggest events of the year, Ingrid was everything a teenager could want to be.  She was five foot five, the perfect height to wear three to five inch heels to school every day.  She swam recreationally and rode horseback since she was six.  Her body was toned and slender, allowing for all the latest fashions to fit perfectly on her 115 lb frame.  Flaming red hair with the slight wave to it and emerald green eyes complimented the pearly pale complexion of her perfect skin.

Her mother’s death at age six had spurred her father to give his girls the best.  He’d risen to the top of his law firm and had started his own, Madison & Co.   Therefore, money had never a problem, especially with their dual sets of wealthy grandparents to watch over her and her sister as they grew up.  There was a chauffeur to take her school in the morning as well as to the higher end malls in the larger city of New York, New York when she desired a new outfit, or some high end makeup.  Her room was all her own, large and pink and white with a walk in closest that many a magazine had photographed.  She was a champion equestrian and the belle of every dance she’d been to thus far in her high school career.  Her father bought Ingrid er every heart’s desire, no matter the cost.

While her father’s desire to date again had caught her off guard, Ingrid didn’t see it going anywhere.   All her father needed was Ingrid and Charlotte, Mrs Nilson, the house keeper, and Johnson, their driver.

Junior year, much like the years before it, would play out perfectly.  She would be dropped off to school in a remarkable perfect first day outfit, with perfect hair to match.  Ingrid would charm every teacher and bat her eye lashes at every cute boy who passed her way.  Acing her classes, along with horseback riding, September would finish out with her perfect birthday party, where every present would be a check mark in her list.  She had already started taking college applications and knew that Princeton, much like her sister and mother before her, would be her choice for colleges.  She ran the homecoming committee and the prom committee for this year.

Nothing could ruin this year for her, nothing.  Junior year would be the best year yet, she thought as she sipped at her mint julep by the poolside.

Things to be looking forward to (a list poem)

  • the summer, that sunlight, the freedom
  • Firefly, the music festival
  • Seeing those two boys who bring joy to my life
  • No more work to plague me, to keep me up
  • Friends all in one place
  • Late nights with the boy, punctuated by kisses
  • Driving no where, any where
  • Paying jobs to lift my excpeptionally underweight bank account
  • days dedicated to swimming in the pool
  • Sun burns, beach trips, swim suits
  • Summer time

Wondering

She sits in the corner of the coffee shop

Fingers tapping against matte black keys

She wears kiten heels with little black bows

And sips at a pale cup of creamy coffee

 

The liquid that falls between her lips

Distracts him from a conversation, turning

focusing his attention on the girl with the

Blue dress and even bluer eyes

 

He wonders if the gloss on her lips would be sticky

When he presses his mouth against hers, or if

the pink peach color would imprint on his lips

Letting the world know that he had kissed her

 

Is she wearing stocking with that dress?  Or is

All the silky skin of legs on display for everyone to see?

would goosebumps appear on that skin,

When his hand slid from ankle to calf to thigh?

 

Shaking his head, ridding thoughts of this girl

He grabs his own coffee order and disperses quickly from the shop

As so he does not act on this fantasy

Or even bother to ask for her name.

Swing Forward, Swing Back

One moment I am angry

Red tinted vision and grunted monosyllables

Anti social and vivid words, harsh

Abrasive against the soft ache of exhaustion

 

(Up

Down

Back

Forth)

 

Sleep begs at the corners of my mouth

As the desire to mingle among the cotton sheets

And lay my head on such plush pillows

Just to sleep and dream and forget about my troubles

 

(Up

Down

Back

Forth)

 

The, as suddenly as it was there

The tiredness is gone, warmth and ease replacing anguish

Smiles, chuckles, giggles, and good cheer all around

Dizzy, I’m spinning from the recoil

 

(Up

Down

Back

Forth)

 

I swing, momentum creating circles

Dizzying, drugged by hormones, emotions, stress, elation

I just want my swing to still

But I cannot, I cannot stop this swing

 

(Up

Down

Back

Forth)

A Certain lullaby

Like a familiar tune, it comes in waves

peaceful, perfect, sleep inducing

 

The semi silent whir of oscillating blades

Starts that melody of my certain lullaby

 

Rustling of cotton sheets against the freshly cleaned skin

Permeates the whisper of the mechanical AC from down the hall

 

Turning pages, careless pillow fluffs, and kicks thudding against a downy comforter

bring a strange cadence that weighs heavily on my drooping eye lids

 

Finally that warm body curls closer to mine and that steady heart beat

Is what finally lulls me under in this certain sleepy lullaby.

She Is

She is the girl who does laundry late at night

And stays up even later so that he has folded pants, and clean socks

 

She is the girl who sleepily begs for another kiss, another hug

Before he leaves for work, before she succumbs to another hour of sleep

 

She is the girl who greets him with a smile and warmth at the door

Despite his grouchy post work demeanor and growling stomach

 

She is the girl who rages at those who do her wrong and who offend her

Yet he knows it’s rage for good things, not for bad

 

She is the girl who helps out those in need, especially when it’s an emergency

He’ll always find her taking someone to an emergency room or brushing their hair

 

She is the girl who talks, chatters away to fill the silence when she feels awkward

But she does it because she has no idea what else to do when she worries

 

She is the girl who has spark in her eyes and fire in her lips

Playing, teasing, tormenting, testing, giving, taking, completing, loving

 

Most of all she is the girl who loves as much, no, more than anyone he’s known.

She is the girl he loves, for every thing she is

Cuddling: a syllabic poem

Night

Falls in

Slow, even

Sheets while you

Then I shower, clean

I accompany you

In sheets that are soft and warm

Once there, I squirm and you hold me.

In your arms, I feel safe and at peace

You wash away my worries with a kiss

While you press me closer to your heart

Beating, soothing, lulling, as my

Eyes close and I drift off to

the land of nod where dreams

are full of sunshine

and my heart is

full of love

and you

are

full of

me

Where did she go?

He recalls that face, that tan skin

and the freckles across her nose that she hated

along with so many other imperfections

That he couldn’t see on her frightfully lovely body

 

The brittle nails that snapped, the stomach

That always growled, the shoulders slumped

downward, frail.  She had always been frail,

his winter born friend, his ice girl.

 

Where did she go?  In the volumes of fabric that

She carefully curved and layered over

The bones in her wrists, the points of her hips

and the breaks between rib bone and rib bone

 

He searches for the little ice girl, his little ice girl

Frantic amongst all the uneaten food and the sterilized sheets

Is she there?  Where is she?  Panic rises only to quell when

He sees her, a speck among tubes and  blipping machines

 

There she is, but he isn’t sure if she’s really there

Her cheeks are hallow and the laugh, like winter wind

Is nothing more than a puff of smoke.

Where did she go?

 

He’ll get his little ice girl back, strong like

Diamonds, he’ll give her his strength to clothe her

His love to feed her and all that he has to watch her

Come back, come back to him.

 

(Just a quick little update.  I know a lot of my poems are happy and good and just kind of girly.  But I write that way because writing the dark stuff tends to leave me spinning and a little scared.  It’s scary.   I’m sorry not all my poems are deep, but I do my best to write what I can.  I thought this was ok, I think…  Also, I don’t have any sort of eating disorder.  At one point when i was younger, I refused toe at for fear of throwing up.  It was a very bad time for me and that’s kind of where I draw this from.)