And to clear things up –

Before the lump in my throat

Grows any larger,

Blocking my airway,

Causing a stroke –

small broken heart clip art

I just want to say

I intended no harm

By shaking off sorrow

At her grim memorial,

But she was my mother

Safely dead in sealed casket.

Could she spy on my sadness?

small broken heart clip art

If I offended frail sensibilities

By forgoing self-pity,

Commiseration in Chanel black,

By wearing neon-bright colors,

My pretense of composure

Framed in lacy frivolity,

I apologize belatedly

For not appeasing my elders.

small broken heart clip art

But, really, all these decades later,

I wonder if they realize

Now that I was only a child,

Heart heavy with new burden,

Tears like a clown’s disguised

As popcorn-puffed entertainment.

small broken heart clip art

Once home, the circus over,

I put away my makeup,

Slamming the cabinet,

Shattering its mirror

And caught my pained expression.

In shards of glass below me

Distorting my reflection.

I imagined jagged razors

Ripping me from numbness,

Adding to the tally

Of coffin-tight secrets –

A cul-de-sac of repression.

small broken heart clip art

Growing up sheltered,

Suburban normalcy

Couldn’t prepare for the bomb

Dropped on our perfect family.

Terminal sentence looming,

Queen of the house arrested,

We were guilty by association

Like reeking of secondhand smoke

From a funny cigarette

That might have eased suffering

From aggressive breast cancer.

small broken heart clip art

I was fifteen years young,

Embarrassed by death,

Bereft of coping skills,

Complicit in the depth

Of a widower’s grief,

A father come undone.

Where did my youth go?

small broken heart clip art

Overnight made a woman,

I sought divine mercy

For a pass/fail grade,

In a crash course in courage,

A detour on the road

To self-discovery.

small broken heart clip art

I screamed!

That’s all I had to do.

And then,

I caught my breath


Like trapeze artists

Tumbling in the air

High above a sturdy net,

Pretending to defy

Certain death.

small broken heart clip art small broken heart clip art small broken heart clip art

Copyright © 2010 By Chantale Reve


3 Responses to “Cul-de-Sac”

  1. veraroberts Says:

    I love this! You should really publish a book of poetry, my dear.

    • Merci, Ms. V. As soon as I comfortably can afford the kind of computer/notebook that I need — for home use, because I’m more relaxed creating, writing and editing at home — I will make that compilation happen. For now all of these poems are available to be read at no cost. Once the poetry collection is published on Smashwords — since Amazon doesn’t dig my stuff — only a small group of poems will remain on this and my sister blog.

      Right now, I am more concerned with keying in (at public libraries) the last two parts of “A Blue Noel,” which I completed months ago in longhand. Suffering respiratory issues from late spring to summer has delayed that effort as well as the development of “Memories Through New Snow.”

      I just really, really appreciate all of my readers for putting up with the interruptions. It has been a tough summer, one physician after another, multiple tests, etc. The good news, though, is that my afflictions have resulted in imaginative concepts for near-future short stories, if not poems. I might need to postpone “Fleshy Tales of a Size Queen” because a certain recent news item inspired me to begin penning a sequel to the adventures of hotel maid Therese of “Les Femmes de Chambre.”

      Just know, Ms. V, that you are in good company with regard to the planning and development of sequels.

      Also, thank you and IzakMaak for your continued support here on WordPress. Have a fine week.

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