Home Away from Home

Randy could see nothing exceptional in this man—a man at least twice their age. This made no sense for a survivor.

He slowly kicked open wide the driver’s door, his heart pounding against the constraints of veins. He tried to wet his lips with a dry tongue. What he wanted was a smoke. He’d quit tobacco three years ago and there was no one in the motel parking lot to bum a cigarette from anyhow. Continue reading


Sweetly Sentenced

From behind, she snatched the soda pop can out of his hand with urgency enough to spray his clothes and the back of the couch.

“You know you can’t have regular colas—” She caught sight of the empty Drumsticks® wrapper on the end table. The pitch of her voice climbed. “Ice cream?”

She faced him. “You’re a diabetic. This stuff will kill you.”

He gripped in his fist the candy bar he’d opened before his wife’s unexpected return from errands. The chocolatey guts squished from between his fingers.

She stood back and crossed her arms, glaring as if he were her child. “What, have you got a death wish?”

He glanced away.

©2015 Sandra R. Davidson (Image)


XI couldn’t be a reporter. I can pin down facts; however, few reporters are given time and column space to look deeper into an assignment.

To take a photograph is to capture what you see in a specific moment. To take an X-ray is to see deeper, to the structure of a thing.

Or to feel deeper, develop compassion into empathy. That is where I am found most often, in empathy. It isn’t often a pretty place. It has its rewards.

A child enraptured in a first experience. A child in overload from “just one more errand.”

There is recognition within me. Through the momentary connection, a fiction may race ahead or delve into what was, or more likely both. There is no conflict with reality because that moment passing isn’t as a reporter taking notes. I can take time for more than a photo. If I’m not careful, I find myself in the X-ray film.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

Kindergarten: Personalities on display!

KThere seems always to be a Dazed kid. This one is slow moving and interacts little. What is going on behind those wide open eyes? Probably overload. A teacher’s skirt—even the child’s own shirt—is an ideal place to spot this one.

Gaggles. A tendancy to gather and converse, such as it is for kindergarteners; these social creatures are easy to spot even from a distance.

Giggles is really a most sensitive individual; however, giggling provides a great buffer. And if that doesn’t work, a punch is a good follow through.

Quiet Kindness seems born equally to gender. A crying child might escape the attention of a harried teacher’s assistant, and the Kindness child is first on the scene to comfort and offer a hand or a hug.

A Racer. The energy bottled up in one child could provide electrical power for the entire classroom if an adult could get a treadmill hooked up. Oh, wait. Never in one place.

Share-Me-Not wants everything held in the hands of others. A wake of taken toys follows “Mine.”

Toy Monster is much like Sesame Street®’s Cookie Monster without the crumbs. Taste is the primary sensory input method. I imagine this child is why toys became washable and Lysol® disinfectant spray was invented.

There’s one more oral habit often observed. Ahem. My brother tells me now that I had a tendancy to bite when I was young. I imagine that was true in kindergarten as well. We’ll call this kid, “I don’t have enough words yet!”

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

Of a Settling

The storm examines each matter, bound or loose, living or dead. Seeds released in recent dry weeks drive into soil–now mud the rain makes. Too, those time capsules of life among grasses and leafy weeds rinse down with gust accelerate downpours.

Trees take early to energy conservation while tremors of each branch and stem twist and tangle to satisfy August’s dry, leafy itch.

September, too, litters the porch landing with chill-weak or spent moths. Spiders retreat to silken sacs of next year’s adventuresome arachnids.

All this is beautiful to my senses. I taste the coming storm to know if its promise will stay long enough before the next front shoves through. No lightening or thunder as in past weeks. No drum of hail.

Only a Sunday’s let of autumn rain to stay my obligations. Rock, rock, rocking with dogs at my feet, cats beneath the bedclothes, and, from the adjacent room, my love’s familiar exchanges.

My eyelids recognize the tide upon the window and l feel beneath me an easy rhythm, a glide back and ease forward.

(c) 2013 Sandra Davidson

(No) House That Built Me

No handprints in cement have I left; a kindergartener’s palm and splayed fingers in plaster of paris, white washed, chipped and ultimately broken–what’s left mended, remended–hangs from its ribbon on a now non-nomadic woman’s sunlit wall.

My favorite dog I buried in her yard beneath an old cedar; Cinnamon and cedar remain together.

The windows behind which I finished my homework were transient. I never learned to play an instrument, though music led me from room to room and door to door.

The house we all called home vanished, along with its generations of Naked Ladies*. Though the bones still stand, home it will never be. No place to touch or feel, none to ground me, none to heal.

(*Amaryllis belladonna; variety often referred to as “naked ladies.”)

(c) 2013 Sandra Davidson

Confused Selves

Confusion and division will slay the finest and fiercest of troops.

I haven’t said much recently; nothing’s really been worth saying. I agree with:
We Need To Be Ashamed Of Our Confused Selves. | DEPRESSION: my muse.

I love my sisters and my nieces and nephews. They each struggle to their own degree to know who they are without the interference of all the voices around them saying who they should and shouldn’t be, what it means if they choose A and that they can’t have it both ways.

My sister, V, she’s got it now. You don’t choose: You have it all. Her babies, she holds them by the hands, barely keeping up with their tugging in each direction, but she does.

Those two boys have the world in the palms of their mother’s hands as she brings them up with her gentle laughter and I-ain’t-gonna-brook-no-**** seriousness. They’re beautiful, bold, polite, inquisitive. They stand together, they two, because she stands with them—not between them or beside them or behind them.

When you become confused, divided, told to choose—raise your beautiful eyes to the clear vision of a child. It doesn’t matter which child, whose child. Watch them for guidance as much as they watch you for the same.

©2013 Sandra Davidson

Marbles in My Ear

I made a comment on:


and his response included how he is learning to be a less private person.

I used to be, and still am for the most part, a woman who hoards her thoughts and words. I have tried to maintain an impenetrable  mind and heart because there is so little to trust in those who hear and do not listen, or who repeat what they did not understand in the first place. (I do this also and I examine myself moment by moment to try to retain understanding and accuracy, and to keep no place for gossip in my life.)

Eventually my thoughts become an enormous pile of marbles I can no longer keep. One escapes over there; I scramble to catch it, and more escape elsewhere.

Privacy is an illusion, as is safety and security.

I’ve been digging through ancestral records. For a single individual, I can find out where they lived and when just through old phone books that are now scanned and filed online. It is something like connect the dots. We have that in the digital era more so.

I have offered up my superficial sense of privacy and am now freeing (sllloooowwwwly) my mind, though doubts prevail. I suppose if I were perfectly confident that would be a warning to others. Of what, I’m not sure, but warning just the same.

Artistic Goal Setting

We can achieve every goal we set for ourselves. Perhaps the timeline can be elastic. Perhaps you had setbacks unforeseen that took priority (I’m about to have my third surgery of the year).

When I was 18, I wrote down goals for what my life would look like at age 25 (I’m now 41). The list made it through a number of moves and messes to find me near age 30. Behold! More than 60 percent of the list had been completed though I had not seen the goals list for years. At that point, I reevaluated. Many things left undone were no longer pertinent or were no longer important to me.

A new list was begun, written by hand and purposely ‘lost’ in my shuffle.

I’m writing in response to Progress Report « Live to Write – Write to Live.

The goal of a poem per week is 52 poems. Fifty-two poems in two years is still ambitious. What is telling is that the goal dropped off the radar, and so it ferments, as MarinaSofia said in her reply.

I think our artistic goals are guidelines. An idea may grab you by the horns and turn you right around. Flexibility and not giving up when a goal remains important to you is as important as not comparing yourself to others.

Let your natural pace guide you and, as Deborah Lee Luskin did, find tools that motivate you.

©2012 Sandra Davidson

A Little Closer with Joy

Misunderstandings based on uninformed patterns can be joyous in their resolution.

For about a year I’ve been collecting data on a certain tradition a loved one has. My data led me to a logical conclusion: the tradition occurred only when I wasn’t around, so I presumed my absence was the key to the tradition. I knew I could not always be present. It wasn’t healthy for either of us.

Let’s use a simple, obvious example from my past Continue reading