A Poet's Life

Mona Bethke

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A preview from “Rejecting 18 Square Feet”

I didn’t want to post any of my poetry on this blog, however, I felt the need to provide a small preview of my new book, “Rejecting 18 Square Feet” which is being created in collaberation with Shannon KalaharDolly Donshey, and Shannon Wynacht West.

An Audience of One

1.
rushing
military jeep roaring through cobblestone streets
temperature rises
procreation awaits
bred from
the tempestuous Africa plains
and blonde haired, blue eyed Germanic purity
into a world he desired
the perfect wife
the perfect child
far removed from the inner city streets
that made him a man

2.
controlling
everything from root to sky
feet firmly planted in the ground
head tilted to time lapse clouds
watching life go by
measuring up to
perfection expectations
pushed into bone with bone
heart craving native land
hands pushed me into
half-bred acceptance
of the black man
in denial of our ethnology

3.
abandoning
a son needing a father
daughter suffered under an iron fist
and still loved with fear
at the idea she was not worthy
to stand in his shadow
battling to mean something
to an empty home
echoing betrayal in another’s embrace
mother buries her face
in endless tears
that strip my skin from feeling
future ripped away
soon to be replaced
by another family

4.
denying
a space in his new world
no room at the inn
for his flesh and blood kin
another man’s child
has filled that space
my children and I erased
offered to the world
with sacrificial apathy

5.
punishing
me for not being
the man you wanted me to be
there is life on this earth
that came from me
you see your reflection
in our faces
and feel no pain
at my disdain for your part
in creating me

6.
suffering
for now you are alone
as her life came to an end
and you tried to bend time
by sending your feeble voice
across telephone lines
that held nothing but empty space
trace back in time
trying to place a bridge
across a burning expanse
I vanquished the flames
reached out to your lonely mind
only to be put on hold again
as even in death
her blood is the one you embrace
in place of those you birthed

7.
freeing
my life from perpetual
one act plays
of proving worthiness
in cyclical abandonment
that left me in a world alone
where I created a home
trying to relive that moment in time
when I was the sparkle in your eye
when you cared whether I live or die
remembering for a moment
you put a child upon this earth
you are responsible for her birth
and death and suffocating breath
the last scene unfolds
as I stand upon the stage
give you back the rage you infused in me
and know that it doesn’t take you dying
for me to be free

©R. MonaLeza 2012

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