War paint


bronzed and blushing

no visible imperfections

doesn’t look a day over twenty five

chiseled cheeks

giving authoritarian aura

fierce eyes

like a power suit

on a celebrity lawyer

everyone knows that she is not to be crossed

covering up blemishes

freckles on her nose

round doe like eyes

signs of countless sleepless nights

each day she puts on her war paint

giving the semblance of a warrior

hiding her unassuming soul



rental lifestyle


It is time

to pack up my things

go through my closet

throw out stuff I don’t need

or have even looked at

since the last time I moved

box up the clutter and memories

label every box

“kitchen, bathroom, bedroom”

leave behind this place

our temporary home

of two years

to live at another temporary home

for an undetermined amount of years

rental lifestyle

always moving up, adding bedrooms

losing roommates

adding more things we don’t need

living the dream



Before I had a car my life was small

miles from the city the only trips I took

was the 45 minute bus to school every day

and the rare trip to town with 

my elderly grandmother

life was simple

I read Poe, Plath, and Shelley in my room 

music blasting, curtains drawn

I was in my happy place


My wardrobe consisted of black on black

my teenage angst manifesting itself

I wasn’t depressed, I was lonely

Fourteen years old and

The only people who understood me

were the other outcasts at school

and the punk rock bands

whose posters covered my walls


I had the clothes

the combat boots

the choker necklace

red eye shadow

thick eyeliner

all I needed to complete my look

was the darker than night

blacker than raven



I planned the day I was going to do it

I saved all of my money for weeks

we were going to the mall

I planned my route,I made a bee line

for the makeup store

I knew my grandma would be upset

if she knew what I was up to


Passed the brushes the blushes

the creams and the shadows

Passed the candy pinks and the ruby reds

every other “pretty” color

the only color I find pretty

is Raven black matte lipstick

I grab it quickly

watching for my grandma

quickly, quickly

I fumble my money

I purchase my prize

shifty eyed and

full of guilt

Pocket the tube

I rush to get home


After I eat my dinner and do my homework

I go to my room, shut the door

lock it just in case

Sit in front of my mirror

look at my face

take a deep breath

I carefully take out the tube

slowly twist

the smooth velvet

spreads across my lips

I feel like myself

only one problem

I don’t yet have the confidence

that is required

when you go in public

wearing black lipstick 


Mothers Day in a Single Parent Home

when I was six years old

I made a beautiful card

it had a rainbow, the sun

a picture of my dog

the inside was simple

in my neatest script

i wrote

dear dad

happy mothers day

A note about this poem: Mothers Day is always a weird holiday for me. My mom is still alive, but I was raised primarily by my father. I would only see my mom on Friday nights and the time with her was not pleasant, to say the least. My father was both parents to me. He taught me everything I know, and he has been the biggest influence on my life. He still has this card that I made him. He pulls it out occasionally to show me, and he always gets the biggest look of pride when he does so. I’m glad that I made him proud of me. As I’ve gotten older, now Mothers Day means very little to me. Its a busy day at work because I work in a restaurant. I’m probably going to bring my grandmothers’ flowers and I might buy my mom a card. The problem with mothers day cards for my mom is that they never say the right words. They always say things like “Thank you for always being there” or “I know I can depend on you” and that just isn’t how I feel. I usually go with a card that is humorous or just says Happy Mothers Day.