Mother

A woman gives birth
Brings Earth to this baby girl
World creating world


Women raising girls
Like watching a polluted
Planet heal itself

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Get me out of here.

tina in cabinet

Why am I in the cabinet? LOL

1974. I am willingly sitting in the cabinet. Under the stove, from the looks of it. I think this is where the Cheetos were kept.

This is my favorite place to sit. Hide. Eat. Play.

Some days I wish I could go back there and shut the door.

How could anyone be mean to little ol’ Me?


Plastic lids and drooling kids.
Baby blues and blondie ‘dos.
Slack-jawed, already flawed.
Only 1 year. How’d I get here?
Shut the door, please!

Eating Popsicles in the Bathtub

Eat your treat in the tub, please.
That should make clean-up a breeze.

It’s okay if your pop drips.
It’s okay if you’ve got messy lips.

You’ve chewed the flavor clear to the stick!
Splinters on the tongue if you take one more lick.

Just don’t leave your wooden handle
On top of my aromatherapy candle.


Old pic of Lilli-2009. Another shot for film photography class. Love this shot. Candid. And I like the composition as well. It’s a bit washed out, but I don’t mind. 🙂 I like the contrast of the dark shower wall and her dark features with the bright, white tub and curtain.

Making People

Each of these people
Were made by two parents.
Molded and shaped
By opinions, thoughts and variants.

These two people
Made four more humans.
They didn’t do it perfectly.
In fact, our family’s in ruins.

Their legacy was not premeditated.
Their good intentions paved the way,
To Hell and back and there again–
Four lanes without delay.

This kiss and marriage caught some place
Between Heaven and Hell.
A dark, rock-hard place between their love
Is where my childhood fell.

Like a photograph that floats down
Behind a dresser, trapped by wall.
Forgotten with time, buried by dust.
Neglected, unseen by all.

But.

Their love made me.
Shouldn’t I be thankful for this?
I couldn’t think of something more lovely
Than a passionate wedding kiss.

Thankful to be here. No matter what.

Present Tense

Here is a link to the video on Youtube. My daughter made the video when she was 10 yo. Thanks, Lil.


I am four years old.  They are fighting.  I don’t remember the words now, but they are yelling.  Fuzzy scenes, like cloudy dreams, blurring in and out of focus.  Down in the basement, in the laundry room, I hear hot voices and cold words.  I peek around the corner.  He pushes her down on the concrete floor.  She’s weak, flailing, grabbing with desperate hands.  She can’t resist.  She scrambles up when she sees that I’m there.  She stutters a lie through tears, “I’m okay.”  She says it certainly.  Forcefully almost.  But I see the truth in her eyes.  She’s scared and we both think she’s going to die.

My mother has long, dark hair.  She would look like a Native American mother warrior with her tan, lined face and downward-turned eyes/mouth except for her bangs.  She won’t wear her hair without bangs.  She fell out of a moving car when she was just five years old.

Her forehead is scarred from the accident.  It is a terrible mark.  It’s dull purple with blue and yellow streaks, permanently bruised somehow.  It has deep white ridges where the flesh comes together to hold back brains, blood and skull.  It looks as if the bone just under the skin is broken and could spill its contents from the slightest pressure.

I touch it as if it could bite me.  It is tough though, surprisingly and sufficiently.  It’s troubling, remarkable and totally unbelievable that someone could have such a scar and be walking around performing everyday tasks.

I’m staring up at her from the front seat of the car.  She’s seatbeltless.  Hair full of wind and eyes on the road.  Her fingers are wrapped around the thin metallic wheel.  Her forehead is rough, but her cheeks are feathery and thin, soft under my tiny hand.  When I trace her lips, she playfully snarls, bares her teeth and chomps at my fingers.  She has beautiful, somber eyes, full of pain and pensiveness.  She doesn’t often have a smile, but when she does, you know it’s for you and you know it’s for real.

She is five years old.  She is riding quietly in the backseat of the sedan.  She falls asleep.  Her hand, arm or knee gently releases the door latch.  Within a breath, she is inches from the road, ground rushing under her.  My grandmother, from the front seat, is holding her hand or arm so she won’t fall.  My grandfather is braking.  My mother will be crushed by the turning back tire unless Grandma lets go.

Grandma lets go.

Li’l Lil is taken to the hospital and that sickening cut at the top of her sadly-sweet baby face is her rippling flag of salvation.  Her never-ending experiment of bangs begins.  On some level, consciously or not, this must make her feel like a little girl for the rest of her life.  A scared, torn-up little girl who hides her secrets behind those bangs.  I know how she feels.

Dear Reader,

This is an excerpt from my book Present Tense.  It’s a very short, vignette-style memoir. Quick read with lots of imagery.  You can find the rest of my book Present Tense at amazon.com.  Here’s the link: Present Tense.  You can read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Thanks for reading!


This was from Vol. 1. More of Vol. 2 later today!

Buckets of Grace

She brought me a bucket
Of calm, clear sea.
She bent down slowly
And put it at my feet.

Out of her pocket,
She withdrew a wild rose.
She placed the bright, red flower
Right between my toes.

She sat for a while
With her head upon my knee.
Our bodies warm together
Her soft cheek soothing me.

She suddenly took the sand and
Scrubbed my flaking heel.
I pushed her little hands away
And asked her not to kneel.

I don’t deserve your kindness.
I don’t deserve your service.
I should wash your feet.
Being loved makes me nervous.

Her gritty fingers reached out
And touched my trembling hand,
Then went about their washing,
Cleaning feet with sugar sand.

She poured out her water and joy
Over my polished-pinking flesh,
Then wiped away my gathering tears
Falling fast and fresh.

Undeserved grace.

Ghost (almost)

So! I’m starting a new section on my blog: ghost stories. Real-life ghost stories or what I thought were ghosts. Usually there was/is an explanation for whatever occurred, but sometimes, just sometimes, I could only guess at the reason my heart was racing and goosebumps were rising. I don’t really believe in ghosts. But I also don’t not believe in ghosts. I’m a skeptic. But I would love to see a ghost.

I have been fascinated by TV programs about ghosts from a young age. Murder mysteries, Scooby-Doo, Murder She Wrote, Sherlock Holmes, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Unsolved Mysteries, TAPS, Celebrity Ghost Stories. Anything. I watched The Exorcist and couldn’t sleep for 3 days. If I think about that movie at night, I don’t sleep for hours. That sh!t is scary. It could happen. LOL


My first memory of a ghost experience was when I was about 8 years old. I think. I was over the age of 5, I know that, and I was at home with my sister for a few hours while my mother ran an errand. (This was the 80s, when parents left their children under 10 alone at home for a few hours. Totally normal!)

I was watching TV, sitting on the couch. The couch was orange with big flowers. The same couch that everyone bought in the 70s. My parents had that couch for 20 years or more. Mainly because you couldn’t ruin it. Spills, urine, mud, urine. Nothing could end this couch. And we all secretly wanted it to die. Dirt and liquids just rolled off its back. And arms. And cushions.

babytina couch

^This is me. Sitting on the couch in 1974. So there’s photographic evidence. We had the couch for several more years after the ghost sighting. So, it had to have been 20 years old. Also, this couch existed before I did. So, actually 20+ years.

Anyway. I was curled up on the couch. Drinking a glass of water.

I put my glass of ice water down on the end table. Smooth glass bottom on sleek Formica top. I was watching some TV program with my sister, who was only 2 years older than me, and the glass slowly moved. It slid, BY ITSELF, at least 5 inches.

GAH!

Lump in my throat, frozen. Didn’t know what to do.

If I knew how to curse, I would have uttered a string of profanity impressing even my father. In my 8-year-old mind, I immediately thought, “Ghost!” At 44 though, I would have said, “F***ing ghost!”

Strangely, I didn’t leave the room. I did rocket to the other side of the long lounger and waited for my sister to exorcise the ghost.

Get it!

Was what I was thinking. But what I asked instead, “Did you see that?”

Quiet nod of affirmation.

GAH!

We hesitated, unsure what was happening or how to get rid of a ghost. I finally asked. “What do we do?”

I could tell my sister was just as frightened as I was. And just as sure that it was a f***ing ghost. It was a bizarre, surreal feeling that no words could encompass.

“Call Mom!” she realized.

Crap! The phone was by the glass. I carefully creeped over to the phone and looked around at everything! Carefully examing the atmosphere for signs of wisps or movement or sound. I, with overwhelming terror, picked up the phone and dialed. Old-school rotary dial, so I had to spend a few more seconds in the danger zone. Then I recoiled quickly to the end of the couch when I heard the ring tone begin on the line.

Our mother must have been with our grandmother or at a meeting for school (she was a bus driver for the local school district) because we knew where to reach her. (This was the early 80s, so no cell phones, pagers, tablets, email, etc. You had to know where someone was going to reach them by phone! LOL)

I called. “Mom! There’s a ghost! My glass moved by itself!”

No laughing. No incredulity. No “have you lost your mind?” No dial tone of hanging up on me for telling tall tales. “Is there water under the glass?”

I checked. Water!

She instantly knew. Had she been haunted by the old water-under-the-glass ghost before? How did she know?

The glass of ice water had sweat dripping off the sides and pooling under the glass. I had a quick lesson in condensation. The slick surfaces had magically moved my drink. It wasn’t a ghost. It was science! lol I wasn’t totally convinced. But after a few hours and my mother’s return home, we moved on.

My point though–I thought there was a ghost. Those horrible feelings you have when you’re alone or isolated. The creepy cast that comes over a lonely street in the witching hour. Darkened hallways on moonless midnights. The terrible paranoia of being watched. The blood-pumping, heart-pounding sense of a madman lurking around the corner. Hair-raising, teeth-chattering spooky specters of psychosis.

It doesn’t matter if it IS real. It feels real. Right?


I have many more ghost stories that I’ll add over the next several days. Some much
more serious. And please, leave your ghost story in the comments or email me at martha.maggio@sbcglobal.net. Tell me your personal ghost or almost-ghost stories and I’ll pick my favorite ones to repost with your permission.

 

Present Tense (Excerpt 1)

I am four years old.  They are fighting.  I don’t remember the words now, but they are yelling.  Fuzzy scenes, like cloudy dreams, blurring in and out of focus.  Down in the basement, in the laundry room, I hear hot voices and cold words.  I peek around the corner.  He pushes her down on the concrete floor.  She’s weak, flailing, grabbing with desperate hands.  She can’t resist.  She scrambles up when she sees that I’m there.  She stutters a lie through tears, “I’m okay.”  She says it certainly.  Forcefully almost.  But I see the truth in her eyes.  She’s scared and we both think she’s going to die.

My mother has long, dark hair.  She would look like a Native American mother warrior with her tan, lined face and downward-turned eyes/mouth except for her bangs.  She won’t wear her hair without bangs.  She fell out of a moving car when she was just five years old.

Her forehead is scarred from the accident.  It is a terrible mark.  It’s dull purple with blue and yellow streaks, permanently bruised somehow.  It has deep white ridges where the flesh comes together to hold back brains, blood and skull.  It looks as if the bone just under the skin is broken and could spill its contents from the slightest pressure.

I touch it as if it could bite me.  It is tough though, surprisingly and sufficiently.  It’s troubling, remarkable and totally unbelievable that someone could have such a scar and be walking around performing everyday tasks.

I’m staring up at her from the front seat of the car.  She’s seatbeltless.  Hair full of wind and eyes on the road.  Her fingers are wrapped around the thin metallic wheel.  Her forehead is rough, but her cheeks are feathery and thin, soft under my tiny hand.  When I trace her lips, she playfully snarls, bares her teeth and chomps at my fingers.  She has beautiful, somber eyes, full of pain and pensiveness.  She doesn’t often have a smile, but when she does, you know it’s for you and you know it’s for real.

She is five years old.  She is riding quietly in the backseat of the sedan.  She falls asleep.  Her hand, arm or knee gently releases the door latch.  Within a breath, she is inches from the road, ground rushing under her.  My grandmother, from the front seat, is holding her hand or arm so she won’t fall.  My grandfather is braking.  My mother will be crushed by the turning back tire unless Grandma lets go.

Grandma lets go.

Li’l Lil is taken to the hospital and that sickening cut at the top of her sadly-sweet baby face is her rippling flag of salvation.  Her never-ending experiment of bangs begins.  On some level, consciously or not, this must make her feel like a little girl for the rest of her life.  A scared, torn-up little girl who hides her secrets behind those bangs.  I know how she feels.

Dear Reader,

This is an excerpt from my book Present Tense.  It’s a very short, vignette-style memoir. Quick read with lots of imagery.  You can find the rest of my book Present Tense at amazon.com.  Here’s the link http://www.amazon.com/Present-Tense-1-Martha-Maggio-ebook/dp/B00N6R7R8C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453328463&sr=8-1&keywords=present+tense+by+martha+maggio.  You can read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Thanks for reading!

Martha Maggio