10 Minutes: An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

Here’s the title of your post: “An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse.”

Set a timer for ten minutes, and write it. Go!


 

It’s the offer I can’t refuse,
this thing he just offered me,
“step into the time machine,” he said,
“and maybe your life will be

just the way you’d have wanted it,
if you had had the chance.
Come on in, close the door and turn the dial,
step in time with your life’s new dance –

where every decision you make is the right one,
and every wrong you’ve done is unmade.
So step into my time machine,” he said to me,
“this is no game, you’re not being played.”

And so I take a step inside and shut the door,
I turn the dial to the year I was born.
But all I want to do is see the truth,
how my parents were then, their love still un-torn.

Would things have turned out differently then
if things didn’t turn out the way they did?
Would I be the same person I am now
if they didn’t make the mistakes they did?

But we all make mistakes; we’re only human.
That’s what makes each journey so unique,
when we make it through that darkness,
when we know of each painful truth that we speak.

“Make me another offer I can’t refuse,” I tell him.
“Make it true, and not just wishful thinking.
Make it speak to my heart and not to my fancies,
life is more than just doing the right thing.

“It’s making mistakes, too, and learning from them
taking responsibility and growing up.
It’s living the life that’s worth living,
it’s making the most of what’s in my cup.”

So he shut the door and bowed his head before me,
and said, “there’s nothing then here for you,
but the life that you’ve lived, that you have accepted;
you’ve made your peace.  And that’s all that you can do.”

Conversations With My Mother

Do you know where you got your talent for writing?
my mother asked me.
It’s from me, you see,
the talent that never got to be.

For no one ever encouraged me
nor told me I was good,
all they did was berate me for being ugly,
even wished I never came into this world.

There’s so much regret in her life,
growing up like she did, she said,
she still can’t banish the doubts
that still fill up her head,

still hearing the voices of ghosts
telling her she is nothing,
even when the maggots have turned to dust,
long after the feasting.

For those voices still linger,
they fester, they dim.
Like a cancer you can’t ever cut off,
clinging like a phantom limb.

But you have a chance, she said,
if you nurture it, it will grow.
so write what you think will sell –
don’t write what you know.

But what about writing of the things I love? I asked,
What about all that?
But it won’t sell, she said to me
So just write where the money’s at

But that’s the wrong way to go about it,
I said to her then,
if we don’t write out our truth,
we’ll just make those same mistakes again

But she can only tell me the truth that she knows –
her past, her only reality.
She’s yet to live the life I live,
Still killing my own ghosts before they get me.

Daily Prompt

Dust

500 years from now, an archaeologist accidentally stumbles on the ruins of your home, long buried underground. What will she learn about early-21st-century humans by going through (what remains of) your stuff?

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I have way too much stuff,
more than can fit in this little cottage.
Too many books, more than I can ever read –
of stories, there is no shortage

and if someone might one day dig in
should they really be that interested
they’d find nothing but dust where paper had once been
belonging to one so terribly afflicted

for the love of words, and of wondrous tales
if only they’d been passed on and on
for paper, it crumbles into dust and nothing more
just dust, and then it’s gone.

Daily Prompt

12 Again

In a reversal of Big, the Tom Hanks classic from the 80s, your adult self is suddenly locked in the body of a 12-year-old kid. How do you survive your first day back in school?

I could look at it two ways, being 12 again –
it’s like standing at the gates of hell
where the choice is still not mine, and when
others will only tell me what to do
again and again and again

Or I could see this as a second chance
another moment for me to shine –
even though I could never shine back then,
and I doubt it will happen again
this time.

But it’s worth a try
what else can I do –
but do 12-yeard old things again,
even if it’s the last thing
I want to do.

Daily Prompt

 

Chameleon

Brooke_Shields_05

It was Brooke Shields’ face staring at me from the cover
of some forgotten magazine now; she with her
beautiful blue eyes and million-dollar smile, and the
words I’d never seen before next to whatever was
in style.  Chameleon, it said, though there was another word
before it; but I didn’t even register it for I’d just learned
a new word that seemed to fit
the image of me the way I wanted to be, never to be as
beautiful as she was but if anything, free
and like a chameleon, I wanted to be just like her
changing, adapting, becoming whatever was asked of her.
But in my case, there would be no camera, no lights,
there would be no fawning fans; just darkness and confusion
far ahead, and lies disguised as plans
but a chameleon I was going to be, I’d become tough and
hard as nails; nothing to hurt me, nothing to bring me down,
I wished my skin be thick with scales
where words would never hurt me for they could never find me,
not when I’d disappear like a chameleon, and become this thing
that could move so fluidly – so reptilian.  I’d blend in
with everything around me, so no one could see me –
the child constantly picked on because she was different,
weaving her tales of wonder, her stories of escape, off to a world
of her own where there was no pain or hate.
So chameleon I would become, with no set ambition but to blend in,
There would be no cameras, no lights nor fans, just the need
to find somewhere safe to begin.

Daily Prompt

Mother

Those days of wonder, so long overdue
when all I wanted to do was stare at you
and know that as you lay in my arms fast asleep,
you were finally here – and this time, for me to keep –
even for a brief moment before the years go by,
before Time takes me away from you with barely a sigh
you sleep on and even laugh in your dreams,
dragging me away from the ragged seams
of the life I once knew, the way I used to see it,
tempting me away from the darkness, bit by bit.
So sleep on, my darling, my tiny bundle of salvation,
you’ve made me a mother, and for this moment –
it’s my only vocation.

Daily Prompt

Image Credit

Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts

We all have something we’d like to write about, but that doesn’t really “fit” our blog. Write it anyway.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us MISFIT.

FRINGES OF THE NORM*

I like to live life from the fringes of the norm
I like to tempt fate and see what it does
to teach me a lesson about life.
Maybe it will bring me pain and despair
maybe some laughter and joy
But I can come out of my challenges
learning more than I can ever learn
from just sitting doing nothing
watching life pass me by.
Sometimes I hurt people just by being me
sometimes I go through life
not knowing who is around me
who I’ve offended, and who I’ve hurt
Too absorbed in my own fears
too immersed in my own world
to value yours, too.
But I am only human
and you have hurt me, too
Maybe not on purpose
but the pain is still there
so we are all the same
Although I simply live life along its fringed edges
not knowing if I will fall
not knowing how long I can hold on
but always knowing that I belong
right here within the edges
of the norm

undergroundcave1

*Found an old box of my poetry from over 18 years ago, and this is one of them

Daily Post