Poem: I Am Spring

I am Spring

You brought me here
Under the pretext of rains
To nourish and protect my growth
Instead I died dry
In your desert of guidance

Now I am my own Spring again
My Equinox lifts me
From your everlasting winter’s rein

My flattened words grow greener
With their sunny meals
I cultivate myself with passion
I rain down on my fields
And drink in refreshment
As I run

Water soaks my ruched white summer dress
Laughter gallops forth from my lips
Sparrows sing as I swirl
Mini daffodils crown me
Lavender explodes under my feet

I stop to pick a daisy
And run my fingers along the prickly stem
I inhale their yellow scent
With my eyes closed I imagine

Running with you through my fields
Holding hands
Loving each other
Just as we are

© 2014 by Wendy Mastandrea

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Would You?

Crashing waves on Singing Beach, Manchester, MA

If you could strip away your face
to  show your vulnerable soul,
would you?

If you could sing out the pain I see
revealing all the shame that gleams,
would you?

If you could close your umbrella
against my cleansing rain of hope and forgiveness,
would you?

If you could raise your fist in cheers
when worldly pessimism washes you out,
would you?

If you could walk along the beaches’ rim
as oceans thrash apart your dreaming’s shells,
would you?

If I could kiss your mariner’s cheek with my sandy lips
and bring the men of old to dock in the port of your heart,
would you?

Would you let me share the voyages of my own heart
while you row the oars of patient listening?

Would you share with me your pirate songs
while I hoist the sails onward towards the waving skies?

Would you let your loving be dashed upon my internal moat
even as wraiths arose to swallow you whole?

I hope that you would
Like I hope for spring’s first blush of green
returning to fulfill its eternal promise

© 2014

Forget the purple slippers

This morning I finished reading Andrew McCarthy’s 2012 book, The Longest Way Home. In the chapter on Kilimanjaro, his guide Zadock tells Andrew:

Old women are the best to guide. They listen, they go slow, and they nearly always make it to the top. I had an eight-two-year-old last year. She was great.

Now I know when I must go to Kilimanjaro: when I am an old woman. I already wear purple and clothes that don’t always go together. I already eat poorly and have my quirks about what I will spend on money. My husband and I have been together 23 years this summer. During that time, we have hoarded pencils, pencils, and erasers in a box. They will outlive us. If growing old means I spit without shame, then I am willing to keep some of that kind of propriety. And is it a good thing really to plan on growing fat?

I understand the poem’s message. Don’t wait until you are old to show your individuality. Don’t be so obsessed with appearances or what other people think. Cut yourself some slack instead of trying to be perfect. I get it. I really do.

However, when I get old, I will go to Kilimanjaro while I wear purple. I will don my hiking shoes and bring extra layers of clothing. I will follow the guide, and take deep breaths. Step by step, I will walk up dirt roads. I will sleep under stars posing in the open evening skies at base camps. I will look into a crater at the top, rejoice that I made it, and then head back down. When I finally get back home, I will know that I can make it no matter what mountain looms in front of me. I can see the mountain now, but I am not sure that I believe it exists.

Until I get there, I will conquer each Kilimanjaro I encounter. I will try to remember that it is the experience of the journey, the connection with others, and the growth in myself that matters. If I am wearing purple plaid or purple sweaters, I will move and grow and learn until my last too-brief day upon this blue pearl that I call home.