Monday, September 20, 2010

calender of impressions

a failure at the party a failure at the party a failure
control yourself this is the priority of all mothers
for clean counters and the figure you will endure
or white teeth or properly respectful children or
the friendly face most of all the friendly face
your son is miserable making us miserable where
is your friendly face

trapped in his teenage brainstorm: and mom
the way he mouths it into something grotesque
someone squall faced and bitch balled and far,
someone with a broom who says why did you
leave this mess pressed flat with the arguments of
everyone i love and everyone who loves me and
wants me to

you didn't call me back and my grandfather has cancer
you were fifteen minutes late
you never emailed the address
you forgot to buy butter
you never gave your husband a blow job
you don't have enough money for her club meeting
you never you always you don't you didn't
your face is miserable i'm going to watch tv i can't

i can't talk about this anymore.

stop crying.

we called you and never heard back
i'm sorry your boss didn't like those interruptions
but someone has to deal with this
*mrs. this is simply the only date and time we
are available so let me know if you can make it
i'm sorry your boss is frustrated but you have to decide
please bring your child early to school tuesday, late on monday
but you have to decide what your priorities are

a failure to control yourself a basic failure
of infrastructure a noticeable lack of control
a wife needs to a pregnant woman must a mother
has to a friend requires a daughter should always
your son is absent third period your son is weeping
your son is screaming your son is drowning where are you
you are not a martyr get it together fail
blow control email pay listen smile stop crying

maggie may ethridge
krista said...

yeah. i can feel this one.

Ms. Moon said...

Listen- I swear- all of this will be a distant memory some day. All will be well. Just get through it. And stop beating yourself up. I MEAN IT!

Ellen said...

That was beyond deep... that was humbling. Life raw, life with demands.

Irish Gumbo said...

Sharp inhale on my part.

This is like a diamond-bladed scalpel.

Hard. Cutting. Impression or reality?

Let's both breathe now.

Elisabeth said...

It's tough out there, and you describe it all so succinctly, Maggie.

What a calander of events, of impressions, of experience, of words and emotions. What a week.

It can only improve on this, you/we/I hope, but then again will it?

Annie said...

I wish I knew how to make it better. Try to find those small moments when you can rest, in your mind, if not in your body. You have yourself, these lives outside yourself, and that tiny life within; you are doing all you can- you will not be perfect- and when you are not perfect, it is okay. You have a right to get upset and angry. You have a right to react. As you fight for your son and for your family, you have a right to fight for tiny moments of calm. When things are not okay, you don't have to pretend; and it's okay to let people know in a general sense, without going into detail, that you are feeling less yourself than usual- it's up to them to understand. I know it all feels overwhelming, but it's still step-by-step.

Elizabeth said...

This, too, will pass. It will, Maggie. It will. Put your head down, feel us around you, and march forward.

* said...

Why/how/when did I realize that the tips of my fingers feel electric when I read your posts? Not only my fingers, but the tips of my heart, the part where everything matters?

Someday, Maggie, you will write a glorious book. Or maybe that book is your son, your baby in utero, this thing called a blog, your other son, your other daughter, your marriage, your heart.

(I love you.)

Sabine said...

I send you my mantra:
Nothing is final.
Everything changes.
Be gentle.

Anonymous said...

everyone comments on your life,,,, i always comment on art, on your poems... THIS IS AWESOME, and healing of course!! i love how you write your life or a fictional life, i don´t care, this is pure poetry....

of course i care about you, dearling!!
i wish life was easier....!!!

love, love, love!!!!

Sarcastic Bastard said...

You are loved, Maggie.

T. said...

Wow. SPECTACULAR poem. You have so accurately and beautifully captured the utter despair of parenting a teenager. Thank you for this.

jennifer said...

i like this, write the one between these lines

Marion said...

Hang in there, Maggie. One day, one hour, one minute at a time. It's good to write this all out, to breathe the words then spit them all over the computer screen. Love & Blessings!

37paddington said...

tough week.

you are not alone.

Phoenix said...

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Keep loving the journey because all of it is the journey.

Petit fleur said...

Sending soft waves of love to you Maggie.

Big safe hugs,

Anonymous said...

My heart.....

Mommy Emily said...

oh, i know this. i know this. and i'm battling it hard. beautiful and raw and aching.

i hope you'll join me for imperfect prose on thursdays.

peace, friend,

Elizabeth @claritychaos said...

wow. yeah. you have a gift, maggie, that is rare and golden.

anymommy said...

I'm reading. Trying to somehow hold you up. You're writing is stunning.

Andrea said...

Maybe we all are martyrs.

Maggie May said...

   /ˈmɑrtər/ Show Spelled[mahr-ter] Show IPA
a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.
a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause: a martyr to the cause of social justice.
a person who undergoes severe or constant suffering: a martyr to severe headaches.
a person who seeks sympathy or attention by feigning or exaggerating pain, deprivation, etc.

melaenis said...

really enjoyed this, the way it portrays the hectic nature of the week

CitricSugar said...

Incredible piece, Maggie.


justmakingourway said...

I'm not even going through the same things you are - but I can so relate to this. So much. Not that knowing that does anything epic. But know that I feel you.

And I echo Ms. Moon. It's a problem a lot of us have.

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