Predictable pastoral setting, sharp unnatural trees
point upward to protect the tiny house with green shutters
encased in silence. Not serene in the real sense
but by all appearances stable. Cemented to the base,
so determined to keep a tight hold
on the fabricated foundation to which it clings
White plastic flakes coat the fake landscape and
lay undisturbed and unsuspecting.
Not pretty, but orderly and expected.
Until you pick us up and shake harder than I could
ever have thought you capable. Without warning
I am sucked out of the resin-house window.
My head slams against the hard glass globe.
I am stunned – tumbling, spinning, frantic, flailing
my hands claw at nothingness.
I will my eyes blind then sputter scream, terrified.
My back cracks the ground my breath flattens.
I cannot breathe cannot think. Pain is everywhere.
I have never been so afraid.
I grab at grass but I am a bullet ricocheting.
I open my eyes to a blizzard swallowing me.
I strike smooth glass again this time with my face.
I am rabid; too terrified to think then the ground
reaches up to punch me and I crash on my butt.
First frantic glimpses of small familiarities whiz by
and I want to plan.
Curled up, prenatal the next impact shudders through me.
I anticipate it and I am less off balance. Momentum shifts.
I begin to spin and turn with less chaos, stretching out,
eyes open wide I see my reflection in the cold glass an
instant before I smack the side.
This time I push off with my own power.
Steadily slowing I bounce and twirl – think angel wings.
I view my world from first way up high then way down
low. I spring and whirl and find the pace, tentative
acrobatic cartwheels, somersault, handstands, lazy
backstrokes I am getting the hang of this.
Fear has transformed into manic exhilaration.
This unknown becomes my known. The unexpected…
titillating. I surge. I flip. Equilibrium returns. I know
the silly satisfaction of moments with both feet on the
ground. I will myself to find my weight, recall my gravity.
Commanding myself back to the ground where I lay
Panting. Exhausted for sure, but triumphant!
To be expected, my world still shakes with
undulating ferocity, mostly slow rolls across smooth
surface – unsettling but not unkind. The other times with
more fierceness than I prefer. I revisit fear but recover more
Is it crazy to admit that there are days, sometimes
when I shake the globe ever so slightly? I do this to remind
myself to kick off and away and to breathe.
© Maureen Buckley
Excerpt from the book “Imperfect Paths”
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Foreword . . .
How many people can say they have not walked on rough terrain to get to where they are today? Most of us have been bruised and beaten to find out who we really are within; to find joy in this life we have been given. We are flawed beings with imperfect paths, and those turbulent journeys can either make us or break us.
It is easy to blame our past wrongs, the people who have tarnished our trust, and the bad bets the world throws at us. But we still hold the power to make a choice to become better than the humans who hurt us; to be the voice of change by learning from the experiences which have attempted to break us. Along the many roads traveled, the decisions we make will determine who we are to become.
Take a moment to walk in another’s shoes. The poets here have opened their Pandora’s Box, not to release the personal demons that taunt or once to keep them confined, but to share how to sever the weights one is shackled to.
Donna J. Sanders, Author
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