NOTE: This is an on-going story (in ten parts) entitled "The Blizzard Coat."
To become more familiar with this entry, be sure to read back posts that entail earlier "parts."
As a child, Annalie remembered sitting on a deflated, thread bare chair next to the fireplace in the crowded living room of her parent’s house. During the first snowy night of the season, her mother would creep into her daughters’ bedrooms and whisper them awake with the soft spoken sentence, “Girls, the angels are celebrating.” Her mother whole-heartedly believed that angels celebrated the coming of December twenty-fifth by continually dropping “winter pennies,” otherwise known as snowflakes, down to earth. The girls snuggled with their mother in the living room, huddled together in their blankets and sipped Mom’s Super Secret Hot Chocolate Recipe. They drifted back to sleep on the carpeted floor, warmed by the glow of the fireplace, and watched the winter pennies floated against the dark blue sky and collected in teetering layers on the bare arms of the trees outside.
Winter was the season of the Bailer women; summer made them irritable and irrational. In comparison, they weren’t cold and icy, so to say, as most people perceive the winter. These women were rather comforting, familiar, and even exciting at times. Winter always held the thrilling chapters of their lives.
Annalie’s parents, for example, were married the morning before the blizzard of ’68 that swathed the town in sixty-three inches of snow. Her mother told Annalie that they had spent their entire honeymoon snowed-in in a little shack a few miles down the road from her grandparents’ house.
In one of the few photo albums that her mother owned, Annalie discovered a picture taken during that time, which now stood in an oak frame and hung on wall in her own house. Her mother, short but slender with long dark hair draped across her shoulders, stood against the window frame, her brown turtle neck sweater contrasted greatly against the bright glare of the snow drift that covered half of the window. A faint smile played on her lips as she watched the never ending stream of thick snowflakes tumble to the ground. Once, her mother ran her finger softly across the aged picture while recollecting the story and sighed tenderly, “We felt protected, like Winter covered us in our little burrow and the world was completely our own. It kept us hidden until we were ready to see the world again.”
A few years later, Annalie’s oldest brother was born on a warm April day and her mother gave birth to Annalie’s two older sisters in the clammy summer months. Annalie was due in December, a guaranteed winter baby, and the idea of rushing to the hospital to give birth to another daughter under a sea of snowflakes sent excited chills down her mother’s spine. One November night, however, while washing the dishes, Annalie’s mother looked up, and outside the bleak window she witnessed the first winter pennies of the year fall down to earth. Almost immediately she went into an early labor. Annalie was her mother’s Snow Child, her very own winter penny; a noble title that all of her siblings were jealous.
NOTE: This is an on-going story (in ten parts) entitled "The Blizzard Coat."
It was snowing.
Annalie’s heart silently leapt for joy that night as she watched the wintry jewels fall sideways into the thick barrier of trees that surrounded the petite house on Hummer Lane. A look of eased relaxation softened her face as she gazed at the serene scene that peeked out from between the living room curtains. Her four month old son, Mason, slept soundly in the warm nest of fleece blankets in her arms, his tiny fists rested on his chubby pink cheeks in contented comfort.
Annalie had been awake for the past three hours. The hands of the grandfather clock on the opposite wall lingered between the thickest velvet of night and the first few specks of daylight that would soon rise over the cold terrain in the east. Mason had caused her to emerge from the pleasantly warm coverlet of her bed and glide across the cold wooden floors to the rocking chair that always put him to sleep. Each step on the creaking floorboards delivered a spiteful chill that ran an arctic marathon from her toes and up to her spine, reminding her of the parasitic frost which clung to the outdoor thermometer.
After Mason’s cries had died down to a dreamful silence, Annalie didn’t return to the down comforter and soft pillows next to her warm husband upstairs. Instead, she sat in the third generation’s rocking chair, tucked in between shelves of books that her significant other had been collecting for years, and watched the sight outside. The smell of old paper and apple cinnamon scented candles played hide-n-seek with her senses as she became hypnotized by the first snowfall of the year.
The women in her family, all of the Bailer women to be exact, loved the comfort and tenderness that the falling snow had brought them. The large flakes that Minnesota provided, had always tucked in their tiny house for the winter with a bulky blanket of snow, while the howling wind sang a lullaby that put its inhabitants at ease. Snow drifts that reached the windows sills and icicles that hung from the gutters were seasonal embellishments and families of snowmen were the long awaited lawn ornaments that made the house feel like a home.
(especially from a distance).
I swallowed the world.
Its sins scraped my throat,
the salted seas of irritation
and smoke-charred pollution.
The aftertaste was bitter
with a hint of redemption.
Five Star restaurant, deception.
I expelled hope in a burp,
sending orbiting patrons running:
Compliments to the chef of earth.
Let's get lost.
Throw me the keys.
Those nameless streets
and winding twisty roads:
U-turns and pin curves
the farther we go.
Turn up the music and
Roll down the windows.
The roaring wind is our
Stop signs and yield signs
how many can we ignore?
Green lights and speed bumps,
merging towards adventure.
Throw the map to the sky
and let's drive into the sunset.
And let's get lost in each other
on this road to everywhere.
Two floors up,
hidden behind the cobwebs
and ancient trunks
and cluttered messes,
hangs the memories
of love long forgotten.
Years, eaten by moths,
Fabric, tainted by time,
Legends filtered through years
and sifted through generations of rolls,
survives a story of hope
no one wants to love anymore.
It's tentative history can be found
with nervous hands and shaky knees,
lurking in the shadows,
filtering through the dust,
hoping for a hand
to pull back into reality.
Suits of woe,
gowns of thick despair;
a crowd of desperation watches
stifled sickness in the air.
Envy and jealousy embrace,
flaunting oblivion, in sync;
a mirror image of pride
reflects in their limbs so-linked.
Resigned and victimized,
fawning and cringing;
we both become slaves;
strings on a plaything.
No one knows
or would like to admit,
the mysterious science of lies
that ends in collective benefit.
Some place like home.
I never beat my heels together
as viciously or as desperately
until a twister of lies landed,
plaguing our pattern of civility.
I never had the guts; the valor,
to ROAR what clangorously echoed
of your fake impression--your face!--
always having to take the highroad.
Friends were hard to come by
--I'm sure it wasn't you--
they were always too short, too weird, too loud--
and, of course, I was grotesque too.
The empty ventricle of aftershocks,
scraped heinously with a knife of lies,
peeling away a long-lost image
while the blood of yesterdays dries.
Tracks of ruby red, dripping with sin,
I've lost my way from golden hope
circling, disoriented, preoccupied,
searching for my curtain of cope.
The scarecrow of enlightenment;
Your wits are a joke; always unfair.
Stuffing straw too deep to appear
more than you publicly dare.
Call me a witch--
as you chase around the bee.
Wicked punch from the west!
No longer submissive, but deadly
You told me I was different;
that abode was no longer mine.
A control tactic; a tether; a weight;
but kinsfolk wasn't hard to find.
No longer a monkey on my back,
I departed, following the yellow ray
with heels cracked from hoping.
I'm leaving you behind... and that's okay.
There is no place like home.
This one is dedicated to my favorite photographer, Sue Conwell!
Photographs bubble up, overflow,
scratching away at the thoughts
stuck to the walls of my mind.
Cool memories wash over my feet
as I dance through the polaroids.
For old time's sake,
I throw in a Penny for my thoughts
and wish this nostalgia was in the past.
A shutter comes at the thought
of stopping my fingers over the glossy and matte
because cheese never made us smile
like dancing under the stars did.
It was never hard to focus
on your photogenic smile,
but these still-lifes sit in a shoebox;
a pipe-dream forgotten;
a reality never captured by lens.
avilySomewhere beyond Volumes and between the lines of Blurry, was a town where it rained words. It fell as such because the people there couldn't live without the poetic flow of prose.
When the air was sticky and the clouds were low, the nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs would pour into the world (and sometimes the storm was so fierce that conjunctions and articles came pummeling down the gutters too!). The words would seep into the ground where the trees and flowers eagerly slurped the words and they bloomed their own stories.
Thunder boomed with onomatopoeia and lightning flashed across the sky like a dashing smile. The rain would pound down and beat across the town in iambic pentameter. During the hard, heavy spring storms, the beat slammed like poetry and syllables thumped like haikus.
Some people would carry umbrellas and groan when inky clouds billowed in, but they were usually the adults with too many words rattling around in their head anyway. The children--young and impressionable--would jump into personified puddles and decorate their clothes with a spattering of sentences. Word play tripped over the tongues of their shoes.
After a good rain--when the world sighed heavily with imagery--children could be found with nets, skipping over the stones by the creek, waiting to catch the poets who gulped down the punctuation floating across the air and licking away the glistening adjectives that pooled in crevices of the rocks.
Once in a while you'd catch an adult at the bus stop, as the sun began to melt through the clouds, mouthing the words the raindrops formed on park benches. And the sunshine, not always the enemy, would dry out the raindrops--or shall we call them worddrops?--leaving the slightest hint of what once was. An acrostic memory would flutter past the adult then, reminding them of the days when sonnets were king, and purposely step in a nearby puddle, leaving a trail of alliteration; a bookmark in their childhood.
NOTE: This entry is part of my "Personification Series" where I personify the days of the week into people.
The sun is bright, but it neglects to warm the world too fiercely. The world is lush and green as we sit together on the glider swing, rocking in the breeze. We enjoyed watching the world from our front porch nowadays.
"Remember childhood?" I asked nostalgically as we watched the neighbor's boy from our porch.
We laugh to ourselves as the young boy breaks into a fit of giggles, running through the sprinkler in his fire engine red swimming trunks with a seahorse inner tube snug around his hips. His wet hair falls flat on his forehead as he shrieks with delight when the water catches him and he runs across the yard.
I smile, remembering how charming the world was at that age; how free we used to be.
This blog reflects the author's original works and musings unless otherwise noted. No part of this website may be reproduced or distributed without permission unless directly linked to this website and credit to the author is given.