They needed help
Walking alone in the dark.
A broken down car.
The child frightened,
But not understanding
That would soon
Come her way.
Her parents petrified
That their baby was gone,
Over forbidden images
That crowded their way
Past ice cream sundays
And birthday parties
And wedding days.
A doer of good deeds.
He looks into
the little girl's eyes.
The girl speaks,
"This is not my dad"
And the coward
who took her,
Believing he saved
From a long, cold walk,
Saved a child
From a long, cold death.
Her childhood indelible painted upon her brain. She can still see the knife in her stepfather’s hand and her screaming mother pinned to the bed beneath him, and she knew her mom was dead, even before the last breath escaped her body. But for one brief moment their eyes met, and she could not erase the horror it has painted upon her brain. It was a seed that has grown into a tree. It is revenge.
He went home early that day to “butcher” his step daughter; she was only ten. When her mom returned from work, she was hiding under the bed, and blood was flowing down her legs. Her mom entered the room, and saw him lying on the bed; she fetched the kitchen knife and leaped towards him. They fought, and he stabbed her to death.Yet she cannot be convinced that her mom is dead. She still believes that her mom exists in her, and the doctor has mistakenly pronounced her dead.
Leaving the bed soaked, dripping red, he bolted through the door, and a voice that was not her own screaming above her head. When last she heard of him, he was sentenced to be hanged, but she was in another world. She thought that God would come that day, but he didn’t and her mom has not risen.
©2013 Christine Phillips
On this day, I’m sitting in this empty dome, yet to be filled with graduands, reminiscing
Flipping through the images, of my trajectory, stored in my memory.
I remember back then when dad had no money for my school fees
His job was barely enough to keep food on the table; Mom was the breadwinner.
Dad and mom were always arguing; dad was always on the move
But mom kept breathing down his neck.
Dad was visited by a chronic illness and he embarked on that immortal journey
It seemed like everything had fallen apart, but mom kept grinding to ensure I never lacked; and I kept faith too that everything would be alright.
I started working hard to see my dreams through, with my eyes fixed on my goals.
There are many unending walls to be climbed; and tough rows to hoe
Many demons are out soaking up grease in my engine no matter how greasy I try.
Sometimes things don’t always play out the way we forecast
And we don’t make sense to people who always judge our moves
But everything happens for a reason, sometimes beyond our control
That’s what destiny is all about?
I know I’m befuddling your mind now?
Hush don’t worry too much, rest your brain!
When I see how much I’ve grown and what I’ve learnt
It trips me out, though I lay a guilt trip on myself for my aberrations
The destination is still far away, but surely not a cul-de-sac
I’ll keep my heads up, with dad’s words: never give up on yourself
Now I need a mockingbird to sing for my soul on this day.
mom and dad
my all time favorite heroes
who take on the days task
of the everyday running
of running our lovely home
they compliment each other
in everything they do
dad the bread winner
and mom the home maker
and help each other were
the other has failed
they do not show any fear
whether times are good or not
and make things seam all perfect
even when they are not
can not still figure out how
they managed to pull this off
cause my life is not as perfect
as they made our home seam
Story of a boy.....
I was to go to bed at 8 that night
When there was firing at the door,
Heard mom gasp,"God save my son."
I had no idea of what was in store.
We ran to the basement and shut it tight,
Mom pointed to the passage where dad hauls in wood
Sternly commanded me to go
While still as stone there she stood.
The sinners banged the door hard,
Through the passage there was just room for me to fit
So I sat down and shook my head,
There was no way that on my mother I'd quit.
She looked at me in the eye and gave me a kiss
And said,"Darling please listen to me,
I love you so very much
As fast as you can, do get to daddy."
'I'll get Dad' I thought and started to crawl,
I had to hurry,the door had almost gave way too
Noticed a sharp thing in the way and stopped,
But mom, in haste pushed me through.
I yelped in pain as iron cut my arm,
But what hurt me more was the door falling with a 'thud'.
Scars on my soul left me nightmares for years to come
Mom's cries and final scream echoing as I ran in the mud.
Fifteen years later, in the same but better town,
I show my arm to my wife and say
"If not for these scars I was left with
I would be with mom today."
Love is a season
And holidays mark the seasons, like signs in the road
Reflecting the bumps in our journey, but showing us a way back home...
Sixteen, in pajamas, watching the rain pelt down
It was long past midnight, Christmas eve
Twinkling lights on one house across the road, stared back at me
It was if they were trying to fill our void with color
The block was filled with a hundred black windows
And the blackness somehow seemed more appropriate
There was no Christmas tree in our house this year
I suppose Dad felt it was too soon, or perhaps just the effort to get through each day
had taken all the strength he had...
We had stayed up and watched a Christmas program together...
It was Perry Como, I think....somehow I remember how he sang "Ava Maria"...
My brother had come home from the Air Force earlier that week
He had helped bring us a bit of cheer....at least for awhile...
but he had been called back to duty, and I missed him terribly...
The house was silent after Dad had gone to bed
I wasn't sleepy....and it was lonely looking out at the cold night
It seemed the whole world was sleeping,
getting ready for the sun to shine on Christmas morning...
I started to head for bed, but noticed a light had been left on in the front coat closet
I opened the door, and looking up, to pull the chain, I noticed the box...
The little box that kept the sugar cube house
It was one that Mom and I had made together when I was 8 years old...
Little sugar cubes stacked into walls and a roof, glued together with red frosting.
We had copied one out of her Ladies' Home Journal....surrounding it with little trees, and
people skating on a mirror for a pond, things we had found at the 5 and 10 cent store
Carefully packed away last year, on Mom's last Christmas....
Throughout the night, I sat in the dimness of the house, laying out the sugary scene on the
fireplace mantel....as Mom would have done .
When the freckled morning moved into day...
I woke on the sofa...Dad sitting next to me. He had covered me with a warm blanket.
He held me and we cried together.
After breakfast....he disappeared outside, and soon came in carrying a sorry looking branch
from our old evergreen tree.
We decorated that bedraggled branch...it wasn't the most beautiful tree we had ever had
But it brought Christmas back to my family...
For Constance La France's contest "Your Saddest Christmas Ever"
I just missed that
earthquake caused it
A jetting eye
caught the rocker coasting
to and fro
on a sad white porch
They said you were crazy
and to steer clear
but I gave you an apple
producing a smile
and the freedom to just be
We Kelly'd around a lamp post
losing track of time in the warm twilight
then you shared with me a secret
a tree, knot, hole
that held a motherload
and we were richer than rich
till my dinner bell rang
and your hidden voices sang
in March 1968
You do not stand alone in your Battle
Your battle is our Battle
We may not be there in body
But we are there with you in Spirit
We are there in every beat of your Heart
In every whisper of the wind
In every thought and every touch
Every breath and every sound
We are there with you
You are wrapped in an Endless chain of Love
In every link we each send you a part of us
We send you some of our Strength
Some of our will to Fight
Some of our Courage
The most important of them all
We send you all of our Love
If you feel you need more
Just give that Endless chain a little tug
And we'll be there
Tug til you need us no more
Then we'll know you've gone Home
5/09/2014 Dedicated to my Aunt Nini, Wilma Thomas Gamble for Mother's Day. Sadly she lost her Battle w/ Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer on 5/30/2014.
For all of this apparent tragedy in her life, and truly it all only set the stage for my
mother’s soul growth in this experience, what I remember most about my mom is her courage, her compassion and her ever-present service through her Words of Encouragement project that she carried on for the last nearly forty years that she was on this earth. She would collect inspirational writings, sometimes writing her own, and send them to her list of people “in bereavement”. She would volunteer at some local church that would allow her to print copies for mailings. People inspired by her faith would donate envelopes and postage so she could continue mailing Words of Encouragement to people she learned about who were dealing with some kind of difficulty or loss in their life. After she died, we found she had maintained a carefully hand-written log of all the people she sent mailings to over the years. This was her form of “selfless service” and I’m certain that it was her service to others that kept her in the world when it would have been so easy for her to just give up finally.
I learned from my mother that we can pull ourselves out of our depression and self-absorption by turning our gaze outward and giving service in one way or another, how ever it is we can find a way to serve our brother. Even though it appears we have no material worth and nothing at all to give, on some level my mom understood the value and importance of giving encouragement to one another. She faced enormous loss, criticism and complete lack of support throughout her life but, time and time again, she found the courage to rise above, call to Holy Spirit for help, and carry on ... giving whatever she could give, whether it was a place to sleep on her couch for a homeless person, finding a market for handmade crafts created by women in prison, or even if all she could give was a Word of Encouragement.
This is in tribute to my mom, Anne Pauline Theresa Labus King Coker,
February 11, 1928 to April 4, 2002
My magic Flute
My first and only instrument I received as a little girl was
My mom’s old boyfriend had gotten me a Flute and after they broke up I don’t recall what happened to my magic Flute.
A few years later I had music class my Freshman year in high school and we all got black plastic Flutes and we were supposed to learn how to play the Flute.
As an adult and a lover of good music I wish I had learned to play the Flute. I’d play on the sidewalks of city streets collecting money to pay for my children’s education and to pay the bills.