Include Yourself

I abandon all false modesty

because I belong. In my body,

in my seething emotions,

in my recycled thoughts spinning

out of control. I belong

in this family, no longer

need to show up and create “peace”

by letting go of my way.

I risk exposure by being authentic

and even so, this is me. I belong

to my community. No matter

what views I express or how

they trigger you. I am alive

and I am included. I belong

to the serried ranks of hopeless

animals whose lives are caged

to feed me. I belong

to this nation, with its hidden

history of genocide and greed.

I belong to the Pentagon

dropping a bomb every 12 minutes.

I belong to every imprisoned being.

I belong to the oceans, suffocating

in plastic. I belong to the earth

drenched in pesticides.  

I open and I open my heart

to this new reality of global citizen.

Every time I resist, every time

I hear the gigantic “no”

I look deeper, pull the hurting

unwanted piece of me into

my heart. We all belong.

We are all included.

Daily Ragtag Prompt: Serried

Word of the Day Challenge: Exposure

Inspired by the Daily Addictions Prompt: Gigantic

Do all the cool kids use cool prompts?

Cat’s Outta The Bag

He wrote, “How ya been, you haven’t posted,”

and I had to think through all of the details

first.  You know that big gangly puppy

that bounds in from the backyard

and vomits all over the kitchen floor,

then licks up every drop and runs to the door,

looking back at you with a demented

tongue-lolling grin?  And you can’t let him

out fast enough.  Not like that.

Or the tiny dog who climbs into your lap

just wanting to snuggle

while you radiate healing vibes

to one another?  Nuh-uh.

Or the loveable Lab, lying

in a patch of winter sunlight,

groaning in her sleep before

struggling painfully to her feet

to celebrate your being!

Nope.  This is much more toxic:

an old dog, slinking

under the back porch in the dark night.

She’s been kicked around

with such careless unrelenting brutality

that there’s no reason to hide anymore

except this time the attacker was invisible,

a malicious assassin who is not afraid to enter

the dark, and delights in the gift

of suffering

like the evil man in a horror film

with a torture chamber.

She will not come out for food,

maybe water when the coast is clear

after throwing up discreetly.

She is shivering in her fever-induced nightmares,

but can you really feel so sorry

for someone sleeping in a lush fur coat?

And yes, I know that telling you this

reveals my deep psychological

blah blah blah, but that’s the one

I mean when

I bravely respond

in all honesty, “So sick.

Sick as a dog.”

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: toxic