Sirens

Consuelo
My whole world lurches sideways –
familiar days and plans
tumble violently from grasp,
dates and weeks flounder
in the murk of confusion,
and I’m falling,
falling again –
I can no longer make sense of June,
or how long it will take to get to the end of it.

I know you didn’t mean to, but your words
wrenched my heart so roughly
it’s seeping again – I can’t help it.
It’s an old wound, really,
shaped by the story of a thousand cuts
that began before
we both were born.
It’s not your fault,
but a little tenderness
would do a lot for the mending.
It’s funny how a tiny prick
can bring you to your knees
while a single hard blow
doesn’t always do the trick.

But the wind is cruel and merciless –
sirens sent us all scurrying underground
while the house shook and groaned
in the middle of the night.
On the way down I grabbed
things that might vanish,
or that I might need
if everything came to an end
in the end –
chilled water
tattered leash
sensible shoes
passport that may very well outlive me
flashlight to find my way through the rubble
and oh yes,
a clean pair of underwear.
I sat near the washing machine
on the stool with the wheels
and the tray underneath
with my head in my hands
wondering what to do.
A spider approached from across the room
and stopped right in front of me.
We sized each other up
while I reminded myself
that she probably had pretty eyes
and did good work
in the studio that I never use.
I even thought we could be friends
until I moved my leg
and scared the crap out of her.
She made a beeline for the workbench
at lightning speed
and I realized the thunder
was slowly fading.
I’m still wondering
what she was trying to tell me.

I know you didn’t mean it,
but I’m staring at July
through vaseline eyes
and still can’t quite get a grip
on what it is that I’m supposed to do.
I could throw me a rope
but time escapes
like an eel through fingers
and honestly,
I can’t feel the bottom anymore,
but my friends are holding my head
above water.

Sirens send us all to the basement
while the house shakes and groans
in the middle of the night.

About Michelle LaRiviere

Michelle is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and Reiki Master currently based in Windsor, Ontario. She has exhibited internationally, and her practice includes traditional as well as digital media. Michelle has a background in education and is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. Her long-time interest in holistic healing led to her recent certifications in Reiki and AromaTouch Technique massage.
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2 Responses to Sirens

  1. Brenda says:

    Hi Michelle, great poem. I sure can relate, feeling like everything you say in this poem.

    • Thank you, Brenda!

      I’m glad you got something meaningful out of it. I haven’t written anything in months, but it always seems that the really rough patches in life trigger a poetry attack, LOL. This one started formulating while I was cleaning the kitchen yesterday… I couldn’t ignore it, et voila, there it was completed. By the way, the part about the basement, passport, underwear and spider – all of it really happened between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. the night of the fireworks (Monday). A severe weather system hammered Michigan and southern Ontario, and it was crazy violent and scary (five confirmed tornado touchdowns). Anyway, I thought the anecdote was a fitting metaphor.

      I do hope you’re well and that you have some good people around you, Brenda. They have a magical way of nurturing us and making us feel better. Thanks again for leaving a comment, it means a lot to me.

      Hugs,
      Michelle
      xox

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