The Importance of a Daughter She always wanted a girl – two boys later … I appeared. The man could not be a father, so, she raised us, worked, provided on her own. Sadness was our family name! Years between siblings parted any bonds. My brothers left before I was aware. Time passed / I began to understand - the importance of a daughter, as we traded places. I never had a daughter – at an early age a son was ripped from my mold in the early morning hours - a lost wailing soul. Circumstance did not allow more children. I was not prepared for such a role. One would be my lot. One would be enough. Regret flies by on wings of time. Although, now in old age - sometimes, I miss what I did not have – the silken ties of mother to daughter. I Am Where I Need to be Right Now I am here, where I need to be right now, lost among the pages of myself. Torn from the spine, story still intact, never wanting to leave the scene. Numbered, spaced, each chapter ignites. Paragraph upon paragraph amass. It takes years to open the cover of my dream, painted with soft wings and somber clouds. Invoking words to give birth to a brand-new day, wrapped in the wonder of invention. Writing through the night, an outburst of intent settles into the dust of dawn. I remain right where I am, never swaying, never retreating, until the narrative ends. I must fill my life with purpose, with beauty, and with pain. Sending out pieces of myself hoping for acceptance, receiving none. I am where I need to be right now, writing the final installment of my life. I Faded in Your Dream I hear bluebirds singing in my garden. I see summer dancing on a wing. Clouds aloft in the heavens as everything turns green. Fragrant meadows open up to reach for new found warmth. Hours stretch across the horizon lengthening with each day. You stand there before me like a ghost from some past life. Sunset rules the evening as you turn and walk away. Never believing that you were real. You were brilliance, I faded in your dream. Life is a Cliché We cannot avoid the obvious – life is a cliché, shedding follicles, one by one, upon the shoulders of time. Fear-stained pages write the history, that we refuse to believe – instead, we close our eyes. Damn you, how can you write like that/ where do your words come from? I want to taste the blood – that spills upon the hard dirt floor. Come, fly with me – high above all that does not exist. We can never understand a truth that lies to the past. My severed tongue cannot pronounce the dislocated words/thoughts. Clichés bounce around in my poisoned mind. When I slow down – I hear those noises, that reach out to the end of nowhere. You are never there. Why would you murder my last chance - to catch a falling star? I keep asking myself – where do I go from here? Clichés spill from my empty mind into my empty hands. There is nowhere left to hide. I am forever the words/already spoken. His Name was Depression Depression walks on shards of broken glass, across burning sand, never tipping his hat to the invisible oasis that hides beneath the palms. He stands upon shoulders of the lonely, heaving his heavy sigh. Solitary thoughts waft through an air so frosty, it crackles with each breath. He wallows in its own despair, while looking heavenwards, praying for ransom from his daily strife. Tap-dancing on a splintered stage, that resonates with applause. Applause for everyone else, but never for him, Dysphoria. All the while veiled behind a false smile, tight and forced with doubt. Following dead dreams across a charcoal sky. Point and counter point. Depression laughs at himself as he sinks deeper in hot sand. All he ever desired was to be loved and understood.
Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She is the winner of Spillwords Press 2020 Publication of the Year, her bio is featured in the “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020 and 2021,” published by Sweetycat Press. Chris has been internationally published. Her work has been translated into Sequoyah-Cherokee Syllabics, into French, and into Spanish. She is the author of 13 poetry books. She has been published micro-fiction anthologies and short story publications. Christine lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking.
Chris lives with her husband and four cats. Her most recent credits are: The American Writers Review, The Scribe Magazine, The Phoenix, Burningword Literary Journal, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Silver Blade, Silver Birch Press, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Foliate Oak Review, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.*(a complete list of publications is available upon request)