The Forgotten Sun
Don’t get so caught up in the storm of the day and the ones that have yet to pass.
That you forget to call your attention to the sun; the rain that it dries and the light that it casts.
haikus on napkins at the kitchen table
sweet potato pie
topped with marshmallows: a dish,
yellow fold-up chairs
aren't for seventeen-year-old
girls, not anymore
grow up is to nod while the
adults are talking
cross my ankles, chew,
swallow, scribble haikus that
they will never read
of political jargon
no 'soup or salad'
with apple cider
i wash down all the words i
know i shouldn't say
just to cram them in
boxes of five-seven-five
for a smile or two
from poets like me
dreamers, forever craving
something real; what's real?
A Slice of Life
Now and then, when the mood, moment, or memory flashes before me,
I shall do A Slice of Life. Some you may find interesting,
some you may not. Depends on the moment I guess.
This may also mean reposting a few other things
I have written pertaining to life in or
around myself and family.
It never dawned on me until tonight that the anniversary of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was assassinated (November 23, 1963) in Dallas, Texas. I waqs all of about 15 when that took place. But this isn't about his death.
Thinking back on that, my mind wandered further back to October 1, 1960. Funny how some things you never seem to forget.
It was a Saturday afternoon, and thousands of people awaited JFK's arrival. I believe the entire city was made up from Demorcats. The day was somewhat cool, and I, like my mother and many others, dressed as warmly as we could. My father took a few Kodak videos of us standing next to each other before he left to find a better spot to video JFK.
Two hours or more we waited. before someone shouted they could see the motocade arriving. When the third car was in sight, even for as cold a day as it was, there sat JFK on the top portion of a back seat waving to the crowd. My mom was super excited, but that was when she went nearr insane with excitement.
Just as his car was about to pass us, she reached out with her hand, and JFK took but a second, but he leaned over to her, grabbed and shook her hand and gave her his best Catholic Irish smile. I thought my mother was going to faint.
Once it was all over, and we were back at our apartment. aqnd JFK shaking her hand was all she could talk about. It was a crazy time for all of us I would now believe, but here is the kicker to this story.
It took five weeks, but finally my father had the video that was transferred from camera to a 16mm reel and we were able at long last to see once more what we had seen in person.
The very first thing we saw was the two of us standing side by side and I blurted out, "Look, mom! I'm taller than you!"
Yes, we watched the reel, also saw things my father captured we couldn't see, but at that moment my first thought is that I was taller than my mother.
And before you ask, I was four inches taller. She stood at 5'1". Yeah, in my own mind, I was a giant!! Grinning.
** My mother, Violet, and our first ever dog, King.
somethings don’t have to be ‘great’ they could just…be and thats more than enough
I compare you to the stars and the night sky and all things great and try to map your impact on my life by measuring the cradles left by meteors but it was never quite…right
you weren’t anything like that
you weren’t a bonfire, a burst of brilliance, and didn’t pulled all the world’s eyes to you
you were simply…
you were simply just a person and you called my name and that in itself was everything to me
As I sit here alone,
cats curled on my lap.
The first of many
I suppose it’s best
to spend Thanksgiving
No strong arms to hold me
Where I sit in my corner
A little too little love
Bestowed on the one needing more
Lonesome and alone
This is how I belong
Craving more hugs and love
Aching to share and show
Tired of celebrating on my own
Reaching milestones in mystery
I cheer for my quiet self
Not how I should be
I write and write
Staving off insanity
Not understanding what I need
Nor where I need to be
All these never-ending voices
Exactly how it’s always been
My own hero, my own villain
Praise myself, break myself down
Believe in the self, doubting self
I’m holding up myself by myself
Clinging to a crutch and hope
Passing the cracked walls of my heart
It is my fault, has to be
It’s only me that lives for me
How I made it to be
Treading my own path
The traveler going insane
Tamping his heartache
Laughing when the pain hides
Sometimes doing better than fine
Until everything crashes and I find
Just been walking on a thin line
Keeping my balance
Until I tipped over
Inexperienced as the newborn baby
An old soul saying last goodbyes
The jubilant sapling has died
Crumbling black branches abide
As dark and black as my nightmares
As dead, impossible as my dreams
Living on music and words
Pulling through on sugar and imagination
Sometimes climbing out of the hole
Let everybody know I’m still half-whole
The cycle repeats itself, proclaiming
The only consistent thing about me
I wish you well, and you, and you
Tomorrow, we can laugh again
Today I sit and drink in darkness
Ridding myself of all the blackness
Tomorrow, the sun will shine and I will smile
Tonight…I fight the demons of my soul
Lonesome and alone
she looks up at me with
eyes hidden, almost locked,
thick bars of hair
that reaches all the way to
her small nose
Hair discolored like
second in paleness only
to her ghostly face
She doesn’t stare too much
are other things to see
in the room
knowing that I also stared
at her. Into her soul
I’ve spotted an unquenched
The easiest to
recognize is the cry of loss
and that’s what I saw there
the cry of want
She wants to get away
Far, far away. She wants to go
and never stop. Wants
to travel into
and I’d like to
I am stuck here onto
frozen in time
I'm a static
And my cold
void of any vibration
will never reach her
I have to make my peace
with it. Yeah, some
people just don’t read
poetry. And even if
they do, what are the chances
they’d read mine?
Wow, what a fool I can be at times
But, well, at least
I have my dreams
and myself to laugh at
You don’t need much else
And I'll sing a happy song
One that reminds me of you
I dream you'll sing along
And think of me too
The bus ride home from school is awful. As soon as I get on, Mr. Clarkson notices my backpack, as anyone would. I’m literally holding it shut in an attempt to keep my books in. The zipper’s completely unusable. I’m going to have to buy a new backpack as soon as possible.
“Looks like you had one too many assignments, eh, Pearl?” he announces loudly. His laughter sounds like a sputtering engine. Or maybe it really is the bus’s engine.
Usually it’s simple to get along with him; no one ever laughs at his little jokes, so I do. He likes me, which means he doesn’t yell at me when I eat on the bus.
“I guess so,” I say back, but my words are flat, and my smile pulls my face tight.
I’m the last one on the bus, since I had to root around in my locker for that note Trinity was talking about, and as I pass the front rows, I note Kelly’s not on today.
I sit down heavily, sinking into the bus seat, letting the material dig into my back. I switch out my school cardigan for my pink one, and use my feet to shove my socks down to my ankles.
I hear snickering from the seat behind me--that would be Luke and/or Reed, who are seniors. They’re also misogynistic assholes.
I sink lower in my seat and wrap my arms around my backpack, holding it tight. I’d like to read Trinity’s note now, but I’m afraid that if I let go of this backpack, my books will go flying.
I sit and stare out the window, all the while listening to the murmur of Luke and Reed’s voices. I can’t quite make out what they’re saying, but I always have a nagging feeling that they’re talking about me.
. . .
I let my books fall out of my backpack and onto my bedroom floor. Mom’s not home, which is a shame because I mostly brought these home so that she’d see all the school work I have to do.
I step over the books and fall onto my bed, having shed all pieces of my Saint Paul’s uniform as soon as I entered the house. Neither of my parents appreciate my “short shorts” that I wear under my skirt, but, like I said, Mom’s not home, and Dad’s preoccupied with William. So, I will wear these shorts around the house if I so please.
I touch Trinity’s letter, still creased, still unopened. I roll up into a blanket as a chill passes over me. I guess these shorts aren’t quite enough clothing after all.
I run the edge of my index finger over the edge of the paper once, then unfold the note.
Hi Pearl, this is from Trinity.
Firstly, I’m sorry. I think I overreacted when you told me that thing you told me about Amber. I wish I was better at knowing what to do, like Henry, but I’m not.
I want to be better though, and I miss talking to you. Actually talking about actual things. I hope we can go back to the way things were. I think I’ve been not so great at being a friend lately, and part of that is because I’ve been figuring out some stuff out myself.
I’d like to talk to you for real again. There’s some things I want to tell you. It’s not anything super serious but still important to me at least, maybe not as much to you.
I’m sorry again. You’re still my best friend. If you’re still mad though that’s ok too.
That's it. I read it again. I stare at the words until they blur into nothingness. I touch the page and curl into a tight ball, and squeeze my eyes shut until everything is dark.
. . .
I’m nervous. I hate being nervous, because I’m usually not nervous. But Friday morning I feel weird. I’m already so lost in thought that the silent car ride to school with my mother doesn’t even feel uncomfortable.
As I approach the school’s front doors, I briefly register a few heads turn towards me, and I instinctively raise my chin, smooth back my ponytail. On autopilot, I say hello to Miss O’Keeffe, who’s clomping down the hallway in her heels. She greets me back with her customary lipsticked smile and a short wave.
Trinity is at her locker, tugging at her green sweater, pulling the collar of her blouse so it lays flat on top of it. I noticed she started wearing it the other day. She never wears a green sweater. Maggie wears a green sweater.
All the sudden my armpits are sweating, I think. Maybe I’m catching a fever. Maybe I should’ve stayed home.
She notices me, and I haven’t even approached her yet. Her eyes widen then dance across the hallway behind me, as if looking for something. I know from experience, though, that she’s not looking for anything in particular. Just general trouble. Or listening ears. Or Sister Bertha--I think she’s terrified of that nun, for some reason.
“Is that a new backpack?” she asks when I come to stand next to her. I can’t help but stare down at her hand, which is, much to my relief, undamaged. Shit, I almost injured her.
“Pearl?” she’s searching my face, and those little quotation worry lines are on her brow, and it makes my stomach flip. I think I am sick, actually, and should have stayed home.
“New!” I declare with a grin, giving a spin and a flourish of my hands. She’s not impressed. “Alright. Not new, just an old one my dad found in the house. I’ve still got to get a new one.” It’s just a black backpack. Utterly boring, and it doesn’t have enough pockets for my taste.
She plays with a magnet on the inside of her locker. It’s a picture of a worm playing a saxophone, and I’d gotten it for her for her last birthday because it reminded me of her for some reason.
“Will you come to the park after school?” she asks without meeting my eyes.
I nod vigorously. I think I should say something else. Tell her you read her note. Tell her you’re sorry. “After school it is, just like always!” I say with a happy shoulder shrug. “See you then!” I declare as I step away, off to my locker.
It’s only after that conversation that I really notice the weird looks I’m getting from people. And then I figure out why, because Katherine Davies is leaning against my locker, giving me the stink-eye. God, she can be a bitch sometimes.
“You’re in front of my…” I tell her, gesturing.
She looks me dead in the eyes, and I feel my heart stop for a moment. She really is beautiful, no matter what Samantha Cross thinks. The Saint Paul’s girl’s uniform is designed, I think, to eliminate all curves, but Katherine can rock it. I hate, for a lot of reasons, that people give her crap about being overweight, but I think she looks great. I wish I had a figure like hers. I’m all hips and knees and stocky ankles, and she’s soft and pretty and pouty.
“I know you’re not really dating Henry,” she hisses, stepping out of my way.
I peel my eyes off of her and spin my locker dial. “Well. Ok then.”
She runs a hand through her excessively long hair. “What is this? I know you two hang out, but why are people talking about it now?”
I resist the urge to give her a satisfied smile. Every word I’d said to Maggie paid off.
“Ohhh my gosh,” Maggie moans, dragging out the first word. She’s shuffling down the hallway next to me, thinking I'm taking her to the office, her ears pink with embarrassment. “How’d they find out? Am I gonna be suspended, like Andrew and Henry were?”
I pause. I can’t help the confusion from showing on my face. “What? What did you do?”
Maggie lets out a puff of air, but doesn’t say any words.
I walk deliberately past the office, and she hesitates behind me. “Pearl, the office,” she says.
“Come over here,” I tell her, glancing into classroom windows as we pass. When I find an empty one, I step inside. Slowly, she follows.
“What are you doing?” she asks. Her tone is no longer worried, but sharp. Interested.
I take a moment to size her up, to decide what to say. “What did you do?” I repeat.
She sits down on a desk at the front of the classroom, and I run a finger along the teacher’s desk. ‘Mrs. Porter,’ it reads. I think she teaches government.
“Well,” Maggie starts, and it must not be terrible, because she’s got that same kind of gossip-y tone that has always made me wary of her. She smooths her skirt over her legs, not nervously, but in a calculated way. “Let’s just say I haven’t been getting along so well with Mary Kate’s new boyfriend.” My expression doesn’t change, so she adds, “It’s Charles Lee.”
I can tell by her face that this is meant to spark some kind of outrage inside of me, or perhaps she just thinks this news would interest me. It does not.
“He’s just so freaking annoying,” she mutters, turning her head to the left to inspect the posters lining the classroom walls.
“I’m not really bringing you to the office,” I tell her.
She lifts a hand to gesture at the room. “I can tell.” Her eyes study me, even as I circle Mrs. Porter’s desk. “Why are you and Trinity fighting?”
I flinch a little, and wish I didn’t. “Listen, I just wanted to ask you about the Easter planning. I’d like to help.”
Maggie crosses her arms. “And you couldn’t just ask me in the cafeteria?”
I hesitate. “As you noticed, Trinity and I are going through some things. Kind of like you and Mary Kate, I guess…” I trail off like I’m thinking of what else to say. I’m really watching Maggie processing the information. I can almost see the gears turning behind her eyes.
Maggie leans back, examining me back. “So it’s about a boy?”
I walk another loop around the desk. “I don’t want to talk about it,” I say flatly. Which is true, at least. I glance up at her. “I was thinking, though, that if you had a project I could do. With, um, Henry Foley.” Her eyebrows shoot up. “But don’t tell Trinity, will you? She hates it when we’re…”
It’s all the truth, technically, but I look away from Maggie and tap a finger lightly against the desk. I think she recognizes it as guilt, but misreads what I’m actually guilty of. AKA using her.
She stands and gives me a sad smile. Pitying smile. “Yeah, I do think I can find something for the two of you to do. Together.” She giggles.
“Everyone’s talking about it,” Katherine hisses. Her cheeks are pink, her mouth twisted downwards. “Tell me you’re not dating him. I know you’re not.”
I sigh dramatically. “Katherine, I can’t control the rumors in this school. All I can say is that Henry and I do hang out a lot.”
She shakes her head violently. “But you’re not dating. You can’t be. You aren’t.”
She’s starting to sound like a broken record. “Katherine, I have to get to class,” I say, shoving my ugly black backpack into my locker.
“I can’t believe I’m even arguing with you right now. Listen, I don’t know if you just think you can spread gossip and get five minutes of fame or something, but you won’t ever be popular. You know most people probably don’t even know your name, right? You’re still that weird new kid, like you’ve always been.” She sniffs at the end, like she’s regaining her composure. She shifts her shoulders and frowns deeper. For a moment I think she looks regretful.
“Goodbye, Pearl,” she states as she stalks away.
I laugh silently to myself as I close my locker, disbelieving. But a few of her words lodge themselves in my mind, and I cough. Weird new kid.
Yeah, I guess I am. I guess I always have been.
(first part: https://theprose.com/post/432343/trinity)
(previous part: https://theprose.com/post/449246/trinity-28)
Where blue waves meet the golden sky for one last time.
But that is what I’m trying to say, Dearest.
That this past year,
everything has changed
and I love you, I really do
but I am unable to continue
being in love with you…
I’m trying to tell you
that you are better off
without this fallen baby angel
with ripped and crumpled wings…
I’m trying to say
that I no longer have it in me
to yearn for you,
to long for you,
and I’m losing my soul trying to love you
come what may…
Please believe me, Dearest.
I do not see the sun setting
as the moon rises;
I do not see the waves rise and fall
to meet the brilliant blue sky
shining in all its glory…
I do not see you leaving your coat with me to come back for it…
I do not see you coming back for another kiss…
Please forgive me, Dearest.
I cannot see ahead now,
my thoughts are fogged with
a deep, infinite grief
that doesn’t seem to end…
I cannot feel my heart now
it doesn’t beat with as much vigor
it doesn’t pump with as much love…
I gave you all I had left,
and I’m still trying;
to give you parts of me
to make a few memories for you
that you may want to come back and touch
should you feel the need to…
But know this, my Masculine.
I still do love you a lot
and I always will,
nothing can change that;
but I don’t have much of me left
and there’s still a few things I need to do
and I do not want much
in the years to come
I am content with the few
simple pleasures I have now
and my solitude serves me well…
I need to gather my wings around me now
make a cocoon and curl up
into a small ball of love-
love that’s enough just for me;
and sleep a good sleep
and dream a good dream
of a small babygirl playing with her mother
in a field of white roses
in the warm glittering sunshine…
I need to go back to my mother now;
that is all I have energy for
and that is all I await now.
I need my mother now, Dearest…
I need to find her
I need to go to where she is
I know now- it is only there
that I’ll find the absolution,
the love that I seek…
and I don’t wish to go on
on any path
that doesn’t lead to her.
So for now I guess
I’m asking you to let me go
and don’t want me back into your reality…
I have things to do that I promised my mother I would with every last bit of me I have left;
I have to honor her memory by loving myself
like she would have expected me to…
Please let me go,
Please let me go,
Please let me go.
-This is hard for me. You aren’t here. I don’t see a way out.
-I would have told you all of this in person. But you don’t see me, you don’t talk to me. You don’t give me a chance to communicate. That’s not a good thing you’ve done; not a good thing.
-I write these here so that you may find them if you come looking; but I know you won’t. You never do.
-You’re long gone, but I’m still here. Writing this post feels like packing up the last box in an empty house that you no longer know well; you don’t want to leave but suddenly there isn’t a house left and your box is full of broken glass and it hurts. It’s not a good feeling, I can tell you that.
-Not having you in my life is starting to feel like the new norm; and I’m beginning to try to be okay with it. I should at least try, right?
-Whatever this was, I did not deserve it. I did not.
-I wish I had my mom around to teach me that boys like you aren’t good, but I don’t. I wish I had someone to talk to about all of what you did to me, but I don’t. I guess I have myself though, but I’m not sure how to go about that as yet.
-You need to let me let you go.
-Take care, Love.