Castle – A Poem

What tipped you off?

Was it the high stone towers?

Or maybe it was the perpetual fog?

The howling? 

Well, of course, there’s howling with the full moon.

No? 

Oh. 

Then it must be the moat!

Obviously. 

You’re right – you’re unwelcome here

This isn’t the place for you 

It wasn’t anything you did or didn’t do

It’s me

I’m frightened

I mean – frightening 

You don’t want to come in here 

I don’t even want to be here

Yet here I am

But you – stay out

….

What?

You’re still building that bridge?

Image Credit- Pixabay- Ariadne-a-mazed 
(For visually is reader, the image shows a castle at night, it’s turrets and towers reflecting moonlight. A cloudy sky can be seen in the backdrop.)

This poem was inspired by the picture above courtesy of Sadje’s “What do you see?” Photo prompt #35 (hope I’m not too late to join!). I was also able to incorporate Sammi Scribbles’ Weekend Writing Prompt #163 – Unwelcome. Her mandate of 91 words for this prompt, helped me pare down the poem and keep me from rambling – oh, I could have gone on and on….

This moody picture captures my current mood considering all the events that are currently happening. I, too, feel like I want to build a castle and protect myself and my family against the coronavirus, the pain of racism, the heartache of loss – the loss of how life was before, the possible loss of relationships/people. I am heartened by the people in my life who reach out, to build that bridge of compassion, understanding, acceptance and solidarity.

We need bridges right now – especially to places (internal and external) that seem foreboding. Walls are built not only to keep things out, but also to keep things in. What are the walls that we have built? Why did we build them? What walls do we see around other people? What are some reasons those walls are up?

The other part to consider is what happens after we build that bridge. Should we just expect the door to be opened? Do we knock softly – maybe hoping the door doesn’t open? If the door doesn’t open right away, do we shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh, well, I tried,” then turn around and go back over the bridge? Do we bring our battering ram and force the door open?

Building bridges is just one part of the process. Are we brave enough to see this process all the way through?

©️ 2020 iido

My Husband’s Affair with Ms. C

I know he doesn’t mean it

When he goes to you instead

He’s known you longer than he’s known me

Will you know him ‘til he’s dead?

I smell your perfume in his shirt

At the end of every day

I know he spends more time with you

Yet there is nothing I can say

Wordlessly I watch and wait

While his lungs turn goopy and burn

My love for him isn’t strong enough

He chose you and I lose my turn

This poem is in response to Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt on The Poet by Day to write a poem about how addiction has touched my life. While smoking may not seem as terrible as opioid addiction (it’s not illegal, it’s still somewhat socially accepted), it is still an activity that takes you away from your relationships, obligations and hurts your health. In fact, I think any activity – even ones that start off as healthy, like running – can become an unhealthy addiction.

In this way, addiction has probably touched more lives that people might care to admit. Think of binge drinking in college or the even the use of smart phones – activities that people use as “coping skills” but, in reality, take people away from having real relationships and can cause serious mental and physical health problems. The mental and emotional components of addiction, as well as the physical aspects, has lasting effects, not only for the individual, but also for all the people in that person’s life.

In my professional and in personal lives, I am keenly aware of “addictive thinking” and “addictive behavior”. Tragically, I had a friend who died from alcoholism that she hid very well from us for many years. There is still so much stigma around addiction but we can’t be quiet about it any more. People are dying and we can’t just “wordlessly watch and wait”.

©️ iido 2018