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marlene dunham Dec 2012
I tripped over
the eggshells

I’m supposed to tiptoe
but sometimes
they are scattered
where I don’t see them
or I didn’t think it mattered;
or they just appear
where a moment before
they did not exist.
So the path that least resists-
is taken.

Sometimes I forget.
(I have not seen them
for so long)
A simple conversation
turns –
There’s neither right nor wrong
but the eggshells emerge.
Decisions are made
on the spot
or not.

To walk upon them
or confront them head on;
Turn my back,
(avoid confrontation)
or keep on track,
(Defend my reputation).
What will cause least disruption
in the end.?

I tripped over
the eggshells

I could just walk on top
but then pay the price
of broken eggshells
in my life.

And start all over
or stop.

© 2012 Marlene Dunham
marlene dunham Jul 2010
at the bar, in town;
down the road to the right.

I was afraid
At first
But then,
at the sight
of the warm firelight
In the hearth
thru the window pane

It seemed safe
And beckoned me
to come in, though alone

Laughter filtered
Through the night air
The camaraderie,
good cheer
(perhaps it was the beer?)
spilling over into the hearts of all
that were here, this night

Heady days of my youth
in the old neighborhood
I would never give pause
Or turn and go home
because I was alone
Those folks were family and -
Everyone knew my name.

No difference tonight
Walk in and sit down.
remember your worth!
don’t feel old!
be bold!
Look, there’s a seat
by the fire.

Instantly -  I belonged!
not a solitary soul
or mere spectator.
I was the majority,
part of the sorority,
of revelers and folk,
though nobody knew my name

all the same
I wondered why:

had I hesitated at the door.
Did I think I was too old
had I lost my nerve?
To enter the frey
Because they
Were strangers?
and so was I?

at the bar, in town;
down the road to the right.

The next stranger I see
enter through the glass doors
with a hesitant stare
I will smile, I think                      
and offer a drink
and try to share that feeling
of belonging!

(c) Marlene Dunham 2010
marlene dunham Jul 2010
He carries her purse on his arm
without awkwardness;
His comfort shows he must have been caretaker,
for some time.
Yet awkward she does feel.

He carries her purse on his arm
as if it belonged there.
Just another parcel to be handled
with care; yet not a care
to what this stranger thought.

This old woman hobbles
ambling behind;
a footfall - thrusts her forward,
one more step.
Doesn’t he understand she wants to go forward -
no more? One step closer
to the grave,
she can sense.

The cane catching
and holding her steady;
The pain, catching
and holding her firm.
She follows his lead; always hitting the mark
with her blue veined hand
wrapped around that staff
in her grasp.

Her gait, unsteady,
wobbly at best
As he carries her purse on his arm,
She follows his lead
one step at a time

A crooked cane
her only assist for the
ambulatory impairment she bears;
as he carries her purse
on his arm.

© 2010 Marlene Dunham
marlene dunham Jul 2010
Childhood should be carefree.
The hardest thoughts should be -
which tree to hide behind
So they won’t find me!

Colors of chalk
on the sidewalk.  
What to draw today?
Which frilly dress
from the old wooden trunk will I pick?
Which bobble of beads from mom’s jewelry bin
Shall I loop around my neck and spin
like the ballerina atop a music box.

Running free on the water’s edge,
chasing sand dollars down the beach
as far as the eye could see and within reach.
These are what memories of childhood should be.

The jingle jangle of the ice cream truck
on a sunny summer day.
We immediately stop our play
and run;
First to mom for money,
then to the street to beat
the neighbor kids and be first in line
for a treat.

Childhood should be unfettered
of  burdens and worry.
The qualms and cares of the world
in a hurry to destroy itself
should burden the shoulders of others.  
Not brothers
or sisters.
Not the children.
Not the children.

I was their protector,
defender, guardian and guide;
They trusted me, to be their god
who would heal and deal
with pain and strife
of life;

How could I know
That I was not protecting them.

© 2010 Marlene Dunham
marlene dunham Jul 2010
One simple thought
goes astray,
away -
beyond the limits
of decorum.

A mind
goes blind;
to the realm
of madness.

When reality
is the brutality
of suffering
against all odds
and logic;

The mind’s on
a pivotal perch
of distortion;
Sinking to the depths
of despair.

How to escape?
Where to travel -
Thoughts create,
minds negate.

Oh, to make things clear;
to again see
flee -
the insanity
of actuality.

What is real?
how to feel?
shall I kneel
and pray
for forgiveness?

for my mind  
to find
its home?
But to whom do I say
my incantations?

Why do my thoughts go beyond?
Who’s to say what is wrong?
What is right
I am strong!

Not insane.

© 2010 Marlene Dunham
marlene dunham Jun 2010
Seeds of the Dandelion

appear intertwined;

Tightly woven tendrils

weave and hold

in close bond;

Stretched fingers

offer anchor for each other,

though hesitant.

When the time is right

and the slightest wind blows,

seeds of the dandelion


Parachutes of white snow.

A moment in time

stalk stands naked in the wind,

having lost everything;

Though the taproot runs deep

and in reality,

millions more will seek

a new birth.

We may think it a waste,

unwanted seeds being placed

hither and yon.

But what about the Dandelion?

Some call this **** a ruderal

this “lion’s tooth” with the long taproot

feeding bees and butterflies.

With detoxifying properties,

this plant has seen atrocities

of prejudice, bigotry and intolerance;

But it just goes on to do it’s job

holding on as long as it can

til the parachutes of snow


and the cycle of life repeats.

© Marlene Dunham 2010
marlene dunham Jun 2010
Off Kilter

                                           a bit askew

I’m sorry

I never knew.

My mind will not embrace the pure confusion

I’m sorry

I did not know

I don’t know what to do with all this tension

I now move forward with my apprehension

a bit off kilter  does explain a lot


not Delusion

My heart is breaking yet it tries to mend

my mind does not know where to spend

the energy it needs to find the answers

though forgiveness I am asking above all else.

I should have known

I never knew

I’m sorry

                                        a bit askew

                        Off kilter
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