Grand Finale

Always hopeful, always scared.

Does it surprise you?  

The plethora of burdens that hides behind ones smile.

Especially, the smile of a mother. 

The strength of Goliath on the outside.

Inside a spirit bludgeoned by stones cast by life.

Yet, she is forced to walk every day with a crippled spirit. 

She smiles for the camera and takes a bow with applause.

Encore! Encore! The audience shouts-asking for more.

Of course, the crowd can’t see her invisible tears.

As graceful as she walks, she is a broken ballerina. 

And she continues to smile until the curtain closes, lights get turned off and the last person leaves the room. 

Her smile distorts to a sickening grin.

She spins and spins on the tips of her blood stained, torn shoes.

Now her makeup begins to run and the dark circles emerge.

Her hair bun becomes loose. 

She opens her eyes and realizes there she stands on the ledge of her balcony.

Such a beautiful ballerina in the moonlight.

The wind blowing her sheer tulle skirt underneath the star lit sky. 

She can still hear their applause and their cheers and request for one more picture. 

She can still see the flashing lights from the cameras and hear her flowers falling to the ground beside her.

She opens her shapely arms , as if she were about to grow wings to fly. 

Then she remembers her children.

She can see them confused.

Not understanding why, she did not want to be with them.

She sees the sadness in her husband’s eyes, lost and heartbroken.

Unable to answer their children’s questions. 

She collapses backwards to the ground, and lets out a gasp for air.

The final element that is left to be stolen from her. 

On her hands and knees, she steadies herself. 

Inhaling her life back.

One breath at a time. 

One heartbeat at a time.

Unable to stand, she crawls back into her room. 

Ripping holes into the delicate fabric of her beautiful garb.

She pulls herself up onto her bleeding knees to pray. 

She clasps her hands together and she begins.

No words are formed, only tears. 

She can hear them whisper,” Look at her.. she is still a beautiful ballerina even when she cries.”

She throws her head back, her weeping turns into hysterical laughter. 

How absurd to think you would hear me this time, she thinks. 

She chuckles at her stupidity, her weakness and her appearance. 

She stands up and faces her mirror. 

She removes her damaged costume. 

She systematically gets dressed into another beautiful outfit.  

One that hides her scars even better. 

Her makeup, impeccable. 

She begins to remove her bloody shoes. 

Then she stops. 

Today they will see my sacrifice, my pain and hard work. 

They will see that my journey was perilous.

Yet here I stand. 

Then the curtain rises, the lights go on and the audience watches. 

Mesmerized by her beauty, her perfection and graceful movements.

Never once do they take notice that she is dancing in bloody, torn, shoes.

She knows it.

Her victory is her own, she needs no validation.   

She says to herself, “The show must go on.”

First Day of Spring

As the hardened soil begins to warm, cracks appear and new life is formed.
Even the harshest winter can’t stop the rebirth of the dormant seed waiting for her turn in the world.
She dreams about seeing the light of day.

Imagining the wonders of above.
Courageously, she fights through surpassing the rest.
What a sight to behold!
Bathing in the cool rain and warm soaks from the sun.
Alone by herself, she grows.
Her roots are strong enough to take hold in concrete.
She grows.
Shy and afraid at first, but then she unfolds her crown of delicate petals and holds her head high to the sky.
“I am ready!” she exclaims with pride.

60 Seconds of Clarity

And I think to myself
Where is the wonder in the world?
Can we have a moment of silence for those we lost in the battlefields of deferred dreams.
Kings and Queens dethroned and brainwashed.
Profound amnesia.
Breaking news!
They have learned to manufacture hybrid marionettes with real skin.
See them swaying in the wind.
Unable to think.
Unable too move.
Unable to love without the invisible puppeteers approval.
Prisoners to a system that banished creativity, and individualism.
A plague that devoured traditions, cultures and civilizations.
Popcorn!
Fresh popcorn!
Monday through Sunday free matinee.
Watch them idolize the minstrel shows.
Watch them glorify the hate.
Profound amnesia.
What a sad state of affairs.
Isn’t it depressing?
Everyday, to walk amongst the living dead.
Ones that have lost the spirit to live.
Ones that have lost the spirit to love.
Mental oppression, leads to servitude.
Servitude leads to loss of identity.
With no identity, how do you teach your youth who they are?
Invisible man, damn.
Damn, invisible man!
No reflection in the mirror and you aren’t even scared?
It hurts to hear the truth.
It bludgeons your ear drums until blood drips the sides of your face.
Even as the blood stains your dress or your freshly ironed shirt, you continue to get dressed in the mirror for church.
Not the reflection you expected?
Of course not.
Tunneled vision is humanities crutch.
I
Mine
Me
Not ours
Not us
Not we
Queen me.
King me.
Everything else is just a pawn.
The last of humanity.
Every sunset draws them closer to extinction.
So they hide from the world.
They hide because they fear rejection.
They hide because they don’t want people to know their secrets.
They hide because it’s safer to exist in the shadows.
They gather in the moonlight and dance amongst the fire pits barefoot.
They are old.
They are young.
They are children.
They are the ones without a voice.
They are the ones with the story that no-one wants to hear.
They are me.
I am you.
So, I will stay true and continue to be the voice for people like us.
I will remind them all about the wonder in the world.

Have you seen her?

Battered soul.

Beware.

There she stands, beautiful and rare.

Seemingly laughing without a care.

Don’t stare, don’t stare.

She is the one, who everyone wants to be theirs.

In the sun she glows of golden hues.

A tan that hides her black and blues.

Skin so soft, overtime the scars got smooth.

She learns a friend isn’t a friend and love breaks the heart when it’s supposed to mend.

So the moonlight serenades her tears again.

When the sun rises she puts on her mask and blends right in.

Alive to the world but confused and lonely within.

Adrift

By: Mariana Golphin

I got lost at sea.

Again.

The water felt so warm.

I felt it embrace every exposed surface of my skin and it pulled me in.

It was so calm.

The water didn’t even splash, there were just endless ripples that carried into eternity.

The sun kept whispering my name in the horizon as it set and I just floated towards it.

The shore, the people, the sand became smaller and smaller.

My fears, my anxiety , my worries became smaller.

I fell asleep after a while.

I woke up staring at endless stars.

Diamonds in the black abyss.

A moonless night.

I decided to stay here for a while.