Shattered

Before the spinning, out of control, the shattered glass flying,

and my brain rolling upside-down…

I’d set an alarm

to wake myself from dreaming,

splash water on my face, 

throw on my fashion of the day,

distractedly down dripped coffee,

then, dash into the frenzied machinations

of the weekly blur of the marketplace.

But, that ordinary day,

bathed in beguiling sunshine,

had dissolved into clumps of uprooted grass,

that flew past my crumbling windshield,

hypnotizing my psyche.

Not a mark was on me.

But, inside…

worlds had collided.

Where I had entered, carefree and laughing,

I stumbled out, stunned,

scraping soft skin on razor-sharp glass,

blood dripping onto the green grass.

My sole comfort: a sign standing mutely,

across the highway, in front of a little church,

stating simply, “Jesus: The Way. The Truth. 

The Life.”

In a collision with catastrophe,

I had emerged

alive.

Later, I slept,

until burning liquid pain began pouring

out the back of my brain.

With no such thing as house calls anymore,

my only option:

careening over hellish highways.

Medications. Tests. 

Medications. Surgeries.

Medications.

Then, it was 9/11, 

and I watched…

and felt

everything

fall.

Dazed days

dissolved into years.

Tears stopped falling…

an empty chasm remained.

The sticking doors and windows of my silent house

arrested me with their stubbornness,

having to be shoved open by force,

due to a lacking of use.

Countless mornings were spent,

with curtains drawn, 

shunning the light.

Cobwebs hung, mocking me,

everywhere.

At night,

the blanket of dark and silence enveloped me

like an ethereal shroud, as I wandered from room to room,

while my mind shouted for me

to awaken. For what?

This morning, this ordinary day,

I caught a glimpse of sunshine,

first silent, then, shouting,

through trill of birds and chortles of squirrels,

all oblivious 

to my morosity.

I leaned, lethargically, toward the dewy windowpane,

resting my head against the cool solidity of the thin glass,

the self-imposed prison wall, that kept me 

safe from 

unexpected harm.

One little bushytail stopped his furious scratching,

amidst the fiery flush of fallen leaves.

He stared at me, unblinking, but for a moment.

Then, he bounded, uncaring,

on his merry way.

But, oh!

The unmistakable twinkle of that beady eye

sparked an ember, 

deep inside.

I thought it had been long-extinguished

by torrents of tears, over long years,

or had surely been smothered by the ashes, of

all that remained, of

everything that had been

lost.

Suddenly,

the sun had sound,

the light had movement,

and my soul, long silent,

began to sing.

With renewed strength, 

I threw open the window,

scattering the chorus of a dozen birds,

and felt the warm sunshine, mingled 

with the crisp breeze of a new day…

a day in which I would dress myself,

and call a friend,

and drive to meet her,

to converse over coffee

about how nice it is

to be alive.

Copyright 2015 Regina Plimpton Quinn

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A.D.D. Avalanche

I coulda been a genius,
if it weren’t for ADD.
I prob’ly could have even aced
that stupid SAT.

Yet, I am so distractible,
I have to say it’s true.
So, see if all this evidence
seems obvious to you.

I just can’t stop my microwave,
which, at 30 sec, goes “Ding!”
I burn 8 minute garlic bread,
while on the oven door I lean.

I leave a room, forgetting why
and have to go right back.
I’m doing three tasks all at once,
or don’t know how to act.

I’ll dial someone, forgetting who;
I’m suddenly appalled,
for, when the dialee says, “Hello,”
I’ve forgot just why I’ve called.

I have a hundred applications,
on my 16 Gig iPad.
“Get rid of some,” my family says.
But, that would drive me mad.

Instead, I go from app to app.
I blog. I game. I chat.
And, hours and hours of every day
all blur, because of that.

I make lists, and piles, and projects;
then, of all of them, lose track.
Yet, I can locate anything,
if it’s somewhere in my stacks.

I have a table called “The Avalanche,”
because it’s piled so high,
the papers that are stacked on it
oft’ hit the floor, and lie.

I can carry on a dialog
with one, or two, or three,
while thoughts explode within my head…
ideas all running free.

I forget my meds, forget to eat,
forget to sleep. And then,
I start another day,
forgetting all that stuff again!

There’s a method to my madness,
though, there’s no one wants to hear.
So, I’ll tell my faithful cat, for
he has such a listening ear! 


Copyright 2016 Regina Plimpton Quinn

If I Knew…

If I knew my life might be cut short,
if some dread disease were to sully me
with sudden notice of my soon demise,
would I, in shock,
deny my state?
lash out in rage, 
accept my fate?

Would I gather friends around me,
or drive them all away,
to wallow in self-pity, 
and weep on, day after day?

Would my friends stare at me, mutely,
unsure just what to say,
or try, in vain, to banter,
like it’s just another day?

Would I focus on my sickness,
put life’s details on a shelf,
be blind to what surrounds me,
and see but nothing else?

Or, could I laugh despite my fears,
and dare to fight,
smile through my tears?
Engage with clerks, and jerks, and friends,
and finally make all my amends?

Would fear be sipped like bitter tea,
or would I struggle to break free,
to walk, and run, and play outside,
Not cringing, cowering, trapped inside?

See birds, and blooms, 
and brilliant skies,
or fill the air 
with “Why me?” cries?

Amaze my doctor with my grace?
Defiantly, look in his face,
and calmly state, “This won’t get me!”
I’ll beat this thing! I will! You’ll see!”

Monstrous tough, this dread disease,
I’d cuss, then pray apologies.
“Show me light in this dark place.
Oh, let me, please, behold Your face!”

Whispers to my deepest soul;
would Your Word come to console?
Or, would I grasp at every straw,
emotions rage, ’til I was raw?

Would food or lifestyle change my state?
Not when I vomit up my plate.
If life’s in it, I’d eat it up,
Upend my cup, and drain the dregs.

Throw ope’ my eyes, jump out of bed,
renew my pledge, to not be dead.
Don my wig upon my head,
and walk outside to meet the day,
knowing life and death—a breath away—
cannot steal my will to stay!

Copyright 2016 Regina Plimpton Quinn