Practicing Poetry: Vague

I’ve been worrying and working so much on my A to Z blogging challenge I haven’t done much of anything else. The emails and awards I’m hoping to catch up on this weekend. I cannot write Haikus to save my life but here goes nothing and yes, I survived this. These are in response to Discover’s Prompt for the day. Oh, but I came across a tool that I’m sure a lot of my poetry posters know of but for the ones that don’t check out this link. It was super fun to work with and helped me so much. I was amazed at how many times I had to edit and reword lines. And since I’m a glutton for punishment and couldn’t help myself I decided to write an Acrostic poem. I had no idea what in the hell that was until I looked it up. I did those in elementary school!

Love’s Confession

Obscure by default,
I’ll confess in my own time.
Love isn’t vague just protected.





Why so Vague?

Being obtuse is at times, my safe haVen
Shyness is one of my Absolute rules.
My heart decides when a person Gains insight of me.
Genuine Understanding is what I need, not want.
I’m learning not to pardon my Emotions.


Healing Plunge

Narrative-Nonfiction goes under many names, including creative nonfiction, literary journalism, and fact-based storytelling. Please read more about through the links provided. There is so much more to it than the I-Novel. How in the world am I going to complete a creative non-fiction story? I am going to touch on something I did as a teen. Looking back it was stupid and dangerous but what a thrill it was. I had to do some real research into the area and what actually happened but I look forward to the trip down stupidity lane impressing boys and throwing caution to the wind.

It was a particular hot sunny day in the summer of ’97. I just suffered a miscarriage due to now permanent damage I sustained between my mother and myself. My mother had sent me back to my dad because I rebelled to the point law enforcement was involved and they gave my mother two choices: 1-Send me to jail or 2-Send me to my father. She sent me back to my dad both of us unknowing of the life that grew inside. Arriving back home I learned that I was pregnant and my while my aunt prepared my dad for news I had to be the one to tell him. He blurted it out before I could. We both cried and prepared for the future. He was even more supportive through the losing the baby.

After my body healed I wanted to feel adventure, adrenaline, danger, or a combination of all three. I should have known that even though my body was healed my soul wasn’t. My father knew but also was going to let me make any stupid decisions that I needed to make hoping I would be his whole little girl again. I was outside shooting hoops when my friends Alvin and Chuck pulled in the driveway. I had just started seeing Chuck. He knew I was pregnant when we started dating, he also knew I lost the baby. I had ignored him for over a month and out of nowhere, he showed up. It was really Alvin that wanted to date me but he was ok with playing second fiddle.

‘Hey Jo, want to go bridge jumping?
‘Yeah, where is this?’ I said not looking at Chuck, tossing the ball. All you heard was the ball swooshing through the net.
‘Nice shot Jo,’ Alvin said walking up and giving me a hug. ‘How are you doing?’ He whispered in my ear.
‘I’m doing ok, just bored.’ The truth was, I was heartbroken.
‘Hop in the car. We are going to jump the Sabine River bridge.’

My father would tell me stories of bodies being found in the river or on the shore. ‘It’s a good dumping spot,’ he would tell me. I never asked how he knew. The river also has a rich history involving Native Americans.

‘I’ll jump it,’ I said climbing in the front set. My cramps were awful but I wasn’t going to take any pain pills. I wanted a clear head. I enjoyed the warm air rushing in the car and through my hair. Chuck took us down a back road then turned down a dirt road. He pulled over to the shoulder and I stepped out of the car into the knee-high grass, kicking up grasshoppers the size of my hand. Our feet crunch through the dirt and gravel as we approached the bridge. It looked so small until I was standing on it.

‘You know, you have to jump it just right. You need to go between the concrete pillars. If you go too far in either direction you will land on the concrete and shove your legs through your neck. If you do survive the erroneous judgment you would be paralyzed. A few years ago a boy jumped the bridge and wasn’t centered enough and the fire department had to pull his body out,’ Chuck told me as I looked over the edge. I just stared down tuning out everything else. The only sound was the water running underneath me. I was completely zoned out when a blur flew over the edge. I startled and stepped back. I looked over my shoulder and Alvin was taking off his shirt and kicking off his shoes and sock, only leaving his jeans on. I looked over the edge and seen Chuck coming to the surface.

‘You don’t have to do this. You’ve been through so much. No one is going to think any less of you. Jo, I was really worried about you. I wanted to come see you but your dad said you were sleeping or resting,’ Alvin explained with a caring look on his face. ‘Do you ever think you would want to be with a girl that is already ruined?’ I asked referring to me not being a virgin and broken on the inside. ‘Jo, I want to be with you because of the person you are. Chuck wants to be with you because he knows you aren’t a virgin.’ This is something I already figured out. Alvin squeezed my hand and took a good 5-foot running start and vanished over the side. I stared down at the water holding my breath until I seen Alvin break to the surface. I exhaled knowing I could hold my breath as long as he did. I watched as the boys started goofing around then Chuck starting baiting me, daring me to make the jump. ‘What Jo, you’re afraid of heights or death. Just go wait in the car like a little girl.

Tears welled in my eyes. I wasn’t crying because he hurt my feelings. I was crying over the loss I’ve experienced, the frustration that there was nothing I could do, the failure of not waiting until I was married, for the pain I caused my father. I was a failure. I didn’t go and sit in the car. I didn’t remove any clothes. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t take a running start. I stepped off the bridge. Those few seconds of me falling was the most freeing moment in my life. I didn’t regret anything. If I died I would be ok. If I survived I would be ok. My freefalling off the bridge was blowing away my grief. I was brought back to reality when I hit the water. I didn’t even pay attention that I needed to hold my breath. I managed to do so right before my head went under without taking the deep breath that was needed. I fell so deep into the murky darkness. The cold water washing my sins and guilt away. I looked over and seen that I was literally 3 feet from the pillar. It was so surreal to be able to see how close to death I actually was.

I felt the burning pain in my chest reminding me that my oxygen level was low and needed to get to the surface to take a breath. I kicked and used my arms to launch myself up towards the light. I felt that when I break through the surface of the water I was starting a new chapter in my life. Alvin was the first one to me and held me up so I could breathe. Chuck was laughing and pushed Alvin away.
‘I knew you couldn’t resist the dare.’ I pushed him away.
‘You teased me and told me to go sit in the car like a little girl. Fact, I’m not afraid of death. I have experienced it and wished for it all in one month. I’m not a little girl because of my loss. I’m not afraid of heights because I just jumped. What I am not, is your girlfriend.’ I swam to the river bank with Alvin hot on my heels.
‘Jo, are you ok?’ He asked.
‘I’m fine. Can you take me home?’
‘I sure will. We’re close to Chuck’s house. He can walk. Let’s get you home and in bed.’ Alvin opened the car door for me and handed me his shirt through the window to change in to. Like a gentleman, he waited at the back of the car digging in the trunk for another shirt. ‘Ok,’ I hollered. He walked around and handed me a pair of wrestling shorts. ‘Take off your wet clothes and wear these. I also have a blanket for you.’ Again Alvin waited at the back of the car. I was silent all the way home.

When we pulled into the driveway my dad was waiting for me along with two of my uncles. ‘Jo, are you ok?’ I ignored my dad and went to my room. I could overhear Alvin telling my dad what had happened and asked if he could sit with me through the night. I guess my father reluctantly agreed because when I came to an hour later Alvin was sitting next to me in a chair. It was dinner time and Alvin picked up a plate that my father had made for me.
‘Hi there. You’re dad said I could stay if it’s ok with you?’ I nodded that it was ok. He had tucked me in bed and I curled the blankets tighter around me. ‘I hope you’re hungry. You’re dad and uncles made smoked brisket and baked taters.’ I sat up and took the plate.
‘Can I ask you a question?’ Alvin asked leaning forward. ‘Please tell me the truth. Were you wanting to die? I knew how far over you were when you jumped. I thought I was going to have to have a different conversation with your dad.’ I looked down at my plate pushing the meat around with my fork. ‘Alvin, at that moment I didn’t care what happened to me either way. Now, I care. Will that answer do?’ I asked in return.

‘Ok Jo. I can accept that. I’m here when you need me.’ I slowly ate and asked, ‘Alvin, can we take it slow?’

Southern Blush

‘Ouch!’ I yelled after jamming my pinky toe into my dresser. Trying to get ready for a first date as a young woman is exciting and terrifying. It doesn’t help that being a southern young girl with a very large southern father was no doubt downstairs intimidating my poor date. I wasn’t allowed to date until I was sixteen and even then I needed a chaperone which looked like it was going to be daddy.

‘Sweetheart, do you need help?’ My mom asked through the door while gently tapping on it. ‘Yes, please,’ I begged her. I stood there in a crumpled dress that I couldn’t zip in the back, hair disheveled, slip showing, and hair knotted and sticking up. Chuckling, ‘Oh baby girl, let me help you,’ my mom said walking towards me. She whisked around me with such delicate grace I hadn’t noticed or felt her repair any of the damage I had clumsily done. She turned me around to look in the mirror and I looked older than my years.

My mother walked ahead of me downstairs, ‘Randy, she’s ready,’ she exclaimed to my father. She walked over and stood by him beaming. My father and my date stood. ‘Y…you look beautiful,’ my date stammered. I felt the heat in my cheeks. I remembered now why my mother said not to put too much blush on. My body was betraying me and putting on its own blush. My cheeks were now redder than the pink roses my date had for me. My father quietly said, ‘You look beautiful dear one. Shall we?’ he gestured towards the door.

My date quickly opened the door and held out his arm for me to hook mine through as we walked towards the car. Approvingly, my father opened the passenger side door for me to get in and tossed the keys to my date. ‘You remember what I told you if she isn’t returned in the exact same condition she left in, smiles and all.’ My date interrupted, ‘Yes sir, exact same condition.’ My dad knelt down and patted me on the knee, ‘You deserve everything in this world. Have fun.’ ‘Thank you, daddy,’ I replied watching him close the door with the blush on my face was soon replaced with a streaming tear. ‘Love you,’ I whispered watching him watch us drive away.

My first date didn’t go like this-like my father would have wanted but him cleaning his guns and knives on the table was a close second. Well, for him I guess. Fun fact my father was a large southern man and worked in the oil field. He taught me hard work and dedication will get me far in life. The only time that truly blushed was the night my father said I looked breathtaking-it was the night of my first homecoming. This is a trying response to The Post’s Word Prompt: Blush.

Words of Patience

I use to stare at the blank page trying to force the creativity out. Putting words on paper that can evoke emotions is more difficult than I realized. When I first starting writing I didn’t have any patience. I put the basic information into a program and Voila! A writer is born, or so I thought. I realized it takes time, practice and a lot of effort to even form a complete sentence.

My first story I wrote was even cringe-worthy to me and I immediately tossed it in the trash and myself on the bed to self-loathe. The table for one pity party was a constant dinner for about a week. I refused to open my laptop or even pick up a pen. Then one day after making dinner I remembered an idea that I had a year ago and slowly but surely I have been adding words to a page, building characters that I would love to meet, and a fictional situation with a touch of truth that I have even taken the time to research.

It was never me not being able to write. It was me not having the patience with myself to write. Now, I let the story grow and nothing is to be satisfied by instant gratification. I am now proud of my words because I took time to stare at the blank page and allow the subject the time to grow.

This really isn’t a short story but more of some truth about me. I can be a very impatient person. Having a busy schedule with kids, work, and my personal interests, sometimes it seems there isn’t an end in sight. The anxiety I have doesn’t help and the thought of being a failure can add to the tension. I’m learning and that’s all I can strive for.

My First Submission

I have been working on this for a couple of hours. I have always wanted to submit my writing to a blog for possible post publish but have always been afraid. I realized that the worse that could happen is that my work would not be chosen. I edited, deleted, cried, recalled, and smiled writing this. There are two things my father always encouraged me to do: Draw and Write. He was a writer and unfortunately, my mother trashed most if not all of his poems. A loss that I can never recover from. I hope I did him proud with this.

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy,

I haven’t spoken to you in a coon’s age. All the telephone numbers that once belonged to you or acquaintances with are disconnected. I’m anxious that I can’t reach you. Did you have another surgery? Did you find a new love? I have good news to share and hope this letter meets your eyes.

Miss You Always,
Your Daughter

Dear Daddy,

Mom said that the last time she heard from you was six months ago and that you called looking for me. I’m sorry she didn’t tell me that you called sooner. I think she still feels guilty for how she left you and still doesn’t want me talking to you. Little does she know that I’m trying to reach you. I left the man you vowed to kill after you witnessed the abuse he would dole out. My number isn’t listed. I’m terrified he’ll find me and your grandchildren. My new husband is brilliant and is a lot like you. He’s looking forward to meeting you and promises that he will keep us safe. I called your brother today and he told me he hasn’t heard from you either. I’ll start searching and find you so I can deliver in person the great news.

Love and miss you always,
Your Daughter

Dear Daddy,

I found your obituary online today. It can’t be true! It was small and wasn’t written with pride from a daughter for a father that warranted words fitting a king. All the information that it provided was the funeral home that handled your remains, your name, date of birth, and date of death. Nothing of your loved ones that survived you, your accomplishments, your favorite pastimes, nothing of you. Why did you disappear like that? Why did we lose touch? I know it was my abuser but I should have fought harder to have you stay living with us and your grandchildren. I knew when you held the gun to my ex-husband’s head it was to warn him not to hurt me again and I know it took great restraint for you not to pull the trigger. I wish you had taken the children and myself with you when you left our house.

I miss you,
Your Daughter

Dear Daddy,

I found you! I had to call a judge back home, the hospital that allowed this to happen, the two funeral homes that managed your remains, and the funeral commission board. I felt the strength and your pride alive in me when speaking with them. I’m going to give you the dignity of your final wishes. The only thing that the funeral home did correctly was cremating your remains but they buried you with 5 other urns in a cement box in a potter’s field. Daddy, that is not you and that is not what you deserved. You are loved beyond their knowledge. I received a copy of the letter that your friend (the one that took your money and your belongings) wrote telling the doctors that you hadn’t any family. I cried. Daddy, you have a family! Why would your friend lie? I also cashed in my 401K and will be returning to our hometown, the town you raised me to be a strong independent woman. I have booked the flight, paid the state back for cremating and burying you, paid for the exhumation of your remains, and all while being southernly polite but also informing and scolding them with Irish wit. You never wanted to be put in the ground. I have the letter you wrote a decade ago saying so. I will spread your ashes in the lake where you took me as a little girl just as you had specified. I haven’t been there in years so this will be painfully sweet. I promise to restore your wishes and dignity that you earned and deserve.

Sorry I failed you,
Your Loving Daughter

Dear Daddy,

I lost it. How horrible it was for the funeral home to leave you on the table alone in a small plastic box. For a giant of a man, they placed your remains in such a small plastic black box. PLASTIC! Seriously, plastic? You deserved a golden box to rest in until we took you to our lake. The tag that has your numbers etched on it to identify you instead of your name, I put on a black cord and have it around my neck. My badge of shame that I allowed this to happen but honor that you are my father. A man with a name and a daughter that stopped at nothing to find you. I will make this right. I picked you up and we both walked out, me with my head held high. You wouldn’t have allowed a head hanging with shame. I met with your brother, my uncle, and we stared at you. I know it was rude but it was such a surreal moment. We spoke of you and the mystery of your disappearance and death. I vowed to find this so-called friend of yours and dole out justice just as you would have done. Your brother and I made preparations for your final event. We talked to the people that run the gate at the lake and reserved the ENTIRE beach that you wanted to be your final resting place. I also learned that not only was it where you brought me as a little girl to fish, taught me to swim, and to make fires but it was also where your older brother drowned when you were such a young boy. I learned that the beach holds both tragic and beautiful sentiment for you. I also acquired your favorite alcohol that we will toast to your good name. We packed the tents, sleeping bags, food, and long johns because it’s 30°F right now and it’s going to be even more frigid on the lake.

Hurting to say Goodbye
Your Loving Daughter

Dear Daddy,
The lake is really cold. I put you on the table with candles and your own glass of whiskey. We have your favorite bands playing on the radio, pitched tents, started fires, and enjoying the time we have with each other returning to our lake. We will put you to rest in the morning but for now, we are drinking, eating, and laughing just as you had wanted.

Love and miss you,
Your Loving Daughter

Dear Daddy,

There was a beautiful sunrise this morning as we prepared to say our final goodbyes. The water is calm as if it has been waiting for you all this time. I feel calm inside, a sense of peace that I haven’t felt in a long time. We returned to your pier, our pier, and I spread your ashes as you had wished. I’m only sorry that such a precious moment of you leaving this world happened in my absence. I hope your brother welcomed you with open arms and you two returned to a time when life was joyous and less stressful. Can you see me? I hope you can see how much I love and miss you. Oh, I almost forgot! The good news! I can tell you in person now. You have a grandson! Out of 4 little granddaughters, my new husband and I have given you a grandson that resembles you when you were young. I can’t wait until he gets older and I can bring him to our lake and you can see him in person along with all your grandgirls. I hope I’ve made you proud to call me your daughter and continue to make you proud.

With Love,
Your Daughter

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