New Year

The new year is a dangerous time
for a person
whose breath is held
while they grasp for hope
just out of reach.

Hope used to be my favorite word,
because I believed in it.
The power it held,
a four letter word
with so much strength.

But I don’t feel that anymore,
and as 2017 creeps into life,
I am struck at the loneliness,
and fear I have.

I don’t want a new year.
I don’t want a new day,
Hell, I don’t even want today.
The worst thing that happened to me
was being born.

And the worst thing after that,
has been how I cower over taking my life.
If we learn from the past,
there’s no evidence of improvement.
So why bring in a new year?

And allow it to walk all over me.
Allow it to squish me like a bug.
Allow it to give me a false sense of hope,
just so I can be hurt –
and suffer.

So this is the new year.
and I’ll sit here
and think about my options:
pills, the train, drinking until oblivion.
and I won’t do a single one.

Because somewhere within me,
there is a small shred of hope.
I haven’t found it,
as it is a needle in a haystack.
But somebody told me they saw it once.

I don’t think 2017 will be great.
I partially don’t think 2017 will be survivable.
If I make it to this year,
I don’t really expect to make it out.

But in about six hours,
the new year will begin.
And I will make it through the first minute.
Maybe even the minute after that…
I can’t promise more.



I do not want to be a lab specimen

I’m young,
I want to be happy
I want to feel love
I want to splash in the falls
and capture their beauty.
I want to explore new places.
To uncover new ground.

I don’t want to be explored.

My body is my own.
I don’t want to be touched.
I don’t want to be hurt.
And yet people and people
they all hurt me.
They all want to explore my body
like a treasure map.

What did I do wrong?
Why does this happen over and over again?
And even when I say no.

I met a boy,
I didn’t want to hug him.
I didn’t want to kiss him.
And everytime I saw him,
he picked me up,
and tried to kiss me.
And I said NO.
and he persisted.

They always persist,
they don’t understand limits,
no, they don’t care about limits.

My body has been studied,
by more perpetrators than I can count.
and even though I am young,
I can count high.
And yet it seems,
that no matter how many times
a person plays with me –
more research needs to be done
by a different scientist.

I do not want to be the doll whose head gets pulled off
I don’t want to spread my legs,
or turn over on my tummy.
I am young.
I want to have fun.
and play.
and trust.
and love.

I do not want to live in fear.


Even Though I Want to Forget, I Don’t

My wrists are bound
And I’m frozen.
Solid and heavy.
I can’t move.
But I can see.
I can hear.
Deep voices,
The scratch of chairs
Skidding against the floor.
Shallow breaths.
Those are my own.
I want to move,
so I’m at least back in the chair
But I’m here on the ground.
I can feel drool slipping from my mouth.
My lips peeling from dryness.
I reach out for help.
My fingers find life.
It takes a long time,
but I can finally pull my arms away.
Stretch out the rope.
Quietly drag across the floor.
They must have nodded off.
They dont hear me.
I try to get up
I feel drunk,
But I’ve had nothing.
I gather my things
And stumble as fast as I can
Until I find my way.
And I write this,
Because even though I want to forget.
I don’t.


Reflections on snow

I woke up to see white covering the ground. Snow. And I groaned, knowing I’d have to be out the door 15 minutes earlier to uncover my car and shovel a little bit. Then drive very slowly to work. I guess this is what it’s like to be an adult.

Because, I remember being a kid – knowing that it was gonna snow in the morning. Excitedly, I would go to bed, hoping I would wake up to the words “snow day.” And when I did wake up, I slowly opened my eyes to the gleaming, seemingly pristine brightness of white snow. I felt the heat of my house hover over me like a warm blanket and ran downstairs to drink hot cocoa.

Then I would run out to the lockers in the garage and find my pink snow-veralls. I would put them overtop of my pants and sweater. I would zip up my winter coat, and throw on my snow boots. Gloves, a hat, and a scarf, and out the door I went. All my siblings and I, and my dad, would go out and shovel the driveway. And I didn’t mind it, because I knew when I was done we could play. And the neighborhood would have a snowball fight and we would make snow forts. My best friend at the time, Ali, would come over and we would make snow salad bars. My brother and I played for hours. And finally, as afternoon came – We would go inside. Our noses red like Rudolph’s and our cheeks rosy. We would stomp the ice off of our shoes and throw our clothes in the laundry room and get on our jammies and be nice and warm.

That’s what I want.

Yet now I am an adult. I don’t have snow-veralls. I don’t have snow boots. But I still want to play.


1:14 AM

I took my night meds,
I wanted more –
Afterall, I took them over an hour ago
and I’m still awake.

I hear them.
They’re loud.
I feel fear,
so I listen.

I’m not interested in fighting,
it’s hard to live in the moment;
when the moment
is hell.

I’d like to go now.
I’d like this to end.
I’m grateful to many people
and sorry.

So i listen to them,
and let them guide me
to a place where there is no more fight
and I know it’s best for me
and I know it’s best for you
and I know that it’s okay.

I’ll see you later.


The Tree

I look up at the tree.
tall and seemingly proud,
he towers over me
and sings a tree song.

He whistles with the wind,
and scratches the windows.
And when the rain pours down,
the tree does not sulk.

Rather, he takes in the rain
and drinks the gift –
allowing it to help him grow,
his limbs reaching out

he is always looking
for more,

More rain,
more sunlight,
more warmth,
more life.

His roots reach down deep in the ground,
fostering history and life.
The longevity he thrives upon,
is determined by his acknowledgment of his roots.

The tree remembers,
he remembers being young,
and his roots sprouting into the ground below –
pushing him up.

So he could grow into the tree he is today,
his rough bark, his leaves,
loving and inviting.
He is so friendly even squirrels and birds make him their home.

And the tree stands tall.
and seemingly proud,
But the tree has weathered so much.

He has seen his friends fall,
others die,
He has struggled to breathe –
and yet despite that:
He has lived.

And he gives this advice:



I hope that I can be like that tree.
I want to live in spite of that which i weather.
I want to be as free as the tree –
whose roots paradoxically hold him in place.
Because it seems even though I have the freedom to wander,
I lack the freedom that the tree has,
and it is myself who is not allowing me to have that freedom.


Still Alice, my job, and my life.

“And please do not think that I am suffering. I am not suffering. I am struggling. Struggling to be part of things, to stay connected to whom I was once. So, ‘live in the moment,’ I tell myself. It’s really all I can do, live in the moment. And not beat myself up to much.”

One of my jobs involves working with clients living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It has been an experience from which I have learned so much. But if I have learned anything, it has been patience, boundaries, and limits. It’s hard balancing a job with school and another job. Then on top of that there’s being sick. Working with this population has taught me not only to be patient with my clients and their capabilities, but also I am learning to be patient with my own progress.

In Still Alice, Julianne Moore gives a speech from which I have chosen the above excerpt. As she was saying this, I saw how the experience of her loss of memory and, in a sense, loss of identity was resonant to my experience in losing my sense of self while being sick… And my loss of identity (which in a way is a sort of irony, when you consider the amount of ‘identities’ I have gained or learned about).

In spite of my illness, I don’t want to suffer. I know I’m having a hard time… Most everybody knows it. But I don’t want to be identified as a person who is suffering. I am struggling – and just today my therapist sent me a picture:


reminding me to live in the moment. Take things day by day.

Everyday, I see people who are affected with Alzheimer’s/Dementia. Whether they are my clients, they are people in my family, or people who I reflect on from work. I acknowledge their experience. And I am grateful that my experience, albeit quite different, allows me to have the empathy to work with them and learn from them.



I haven’t known what to write. But this just kinda happened.

She swears shes not angry.
But i can hear her heart beat
and her breath huff
and the passion roar.
As her vocal cords shrink
and her tone is shrill.
She exhales.
The wave passes.
She’s not angry.
At least thats what she says.


Train Station

I’m sitting at the train station.
waiting for the 6:36,
or maybe the 7:36.
or maybe the one after that.

I’m sitting in the lot,
right where the gate opens
and the tracks
are accessed.

I hear the announcement.
A train is arriving on Track one.
I look behind me.

Rushing to the other side of the lot,
I run out of the car
it’s still running – keys in the engine
It beeps as I leave the door open

And I run to the tracks
as the train passes by.
I’ve missed my chance.
I can’t even do this right.

And I look to my phone,
for the next arrival –
I try to guess which track,
I consider a different station.

One where I know which track
for certain.
So there are no mistakes,
and no missed chances.

I go back to my car,
and cry.
I can’t keep fighting.
I need to get this right.

It’s raining,
and the sun hasn’t risen.
I was hoping to be done before it did.
So I’ll just wait.

People will start pulling into the lot,
I’ll have to go home;
try again later –
maybe tonight.

This is my only option
This is how I can stay safe
If I can just get it right,
And the announcement goes off.

So I sit on the tracks,
and listen
only to hear –
the arriving train is behind schedule.