It’s taken me many years to become the woman I am. Staring out windows. Walking worn paths. Writing shitty poetry three people read. Breaking down in the pet food aisle because the anxiety is so palpable, and next to no one ever shops this aisle in my grocery store because there are all these fancy pet stores now with designer dog food, (which even I fell victim to when I had a dog. A dog that loved me.) so it’s a nearly perfect place to have a mini pep talk with yourself about the groceries already in your cart and the need—literal need—for these items in your home. Or abandoning the cart altogether. Fuck. The tears pool, and I can’t seem to hold them back on-demand as easily as I used to. My mother calls this ‘the change’ and I think ‘God am I that age now?’ That is until the 20-something stock boy meanders down to restock the one can of cat food that had been purchased by the older woman who smells of social security and Lysol, (I didn’t see her today, but her scent lingers) and he asks if everything is alright. All right? I think to myself. No. Nothing is right. And the word all encompasses so much, yet is quite meaningless at this point in my life. Everything is wrong, and that’s the point. But he’s a millennial and down is up to them. Him. With his tousled hair and his phone vibrating in his back pocket; either his noncommittal hook-up for later because everything has become so casual these days, or his mother letting him know she’s kept a plate of dinner for him in the microwave for when he gets off “work.” So I hesitate. Unsure how to respond because I’m this new me. This woman I don’t quite recognize. This woman who has been staring out windows, walking worn paths, and writing shitty poetry. This woman who has tears for no reason other than the fact that everything is indeed . . . not all right.
And today’s prompt was sea shells. So there’s that.
Today is Day 28 of #OctPoWriMo join me, 31 poems in 31 days. Do you dabble in word play as well? Let’s create 31 in 31!
Love and Ink,
cc image Unsplash