Ironing. For years I refused to be a slave to the mould of hot steaming iron. I refused to smooth away the crinkles, press creases and stand in the ultimate housewife position. Legs spread, board out, piles upon piles of stylistic statements before me, all of them requiring attention, all of them requiring me to become the atypical label. A housewife, a wife a mother, a female, a girl a lady. We iron.
We stand for hours, up the board, down the board, bored, bored, bored. You were in or you out. I was out. I was the black death of womanhood my views contagious, my opinion death like. So I ironed less and welcomed my self induced plague.
I iron. I became the label that society imposed on me. Sickened by my acceptance I remove my bra in protest.
Karen Hayward ©2015.
The feeling creeps in slowly.
Panic, as I flip through once, twice, three times. I search the normal places, beside the bed, the couch, at the top of the stairs, by the window in the kitchen next to the heater, the window that shows me the sun as he wakes and the moon as she wakes. It’s not there and not even the sparkling stars in the clear skies can make me feel better. I search inside bags and tucked beneath the mattress, I pull out the bed and feel my heart sink, my eyes prickle and for a moment I question my sanity. What if. What if I didn’t own that book, what if I just borrowed it, that would certainly make sense and suddenly it feels like my world is crashing, I just want to read the book, now, I search some more determined to be sure that the book is at least not here. Emptiness envelopes around me, darkness falls upon my heart, I feel a great void where a story should be, not any story and certainly not a recall from the many times I have read it before, a void created through the lack of pages to turn, the lack of worn out paper in my hands. The emptiness has become me.
Karen Hayward 2015. ©
The whole flat smelt
of aged tannin and
a low whistle could
be heard at all times.
There was always time for tea, sarnies too.
You might call her a feeder, she wasn’t but some might call her that.
Food was a sign of respect, you went anywhere they offered you sweet tea
and food. I used a cooker
for the first time there
in that kitchen with
windows that looked
down the hill past the subways and out toward mountains, my Gran always laughed and said ‘Just a coupla wee hills.’ They were mountains to my young
eyes. She spoke constantly
in her rich Irish roots peppered with her Scottish life, if I concentrated hard enough my English mind understood
some of what she said.
Her voice was soft,
a whisper a beautiful
melody, she spoke as I grated potatoes, carrots and onion, her smile told me I was doing good. ‘Eggs, Gran and flour and water too.’ I was reading thr recipe from my mind and hoping I had remembered everything, we had cooked them a few weeks before in school.
She wears a house coat,
she has many, a blue one,
a pink one a brown one,
every morning she slips it over her clothes, I have never seen her clothes, I can only presume she wears them. She told me once, ‘wash your smalls in the sink every
night. That way you’ve always got clean.’ I asked what if you needed them…’she laughed ‘Go with out.’
A frying pan black as death and thick with grease
sizzles at my side.
My Mum also says this phrase.
‘When you cook, you cook. Stay sharp keep thoughts out’
I didn’t listen, I burn most of what I cook because my thoughts make me
wander. We sat at
the table, the small
window behind me
and the radiator to
my left, I feel warm
and safe. I don’t
recall what the
food tasted like,
just her smile as she devoured the plate.
Karen Hayward ©2015.
There is a fierce fire that burns inside my soul,
hidden in the dark forgotten corners of my mind.
Engulfed with the flames of hell venom rises as my innocence is lost in the beating of my racing heart.
One becomes two as I watch with the calm of an ebbing tide, word upon word, truth upon truth tumble from my worn out tongue into the universe. All barriers down, this game of chess belongs to me, make her a pawn then watch me as I take your Queen and destroy your King and precious Kingdom. There’s a fierce fire that burns inside my soul, a flame of burning hope and eternal protection, the fallen angels reflection.
Karen Hayward ©2105.
Zadkiel I call upon thee now to give clarity to a final deed, did I turn my back on a soul in need? Is forgiveness the acceptance of even the broken, no matter how harsh their words spoken? Must I forgive time and time again whilst they sprinkle down hatred that fills me with pain?
Zadkiel, can I forgive, forget and move on? Can I forget the shock in their voice as I questioned their choice? Was I wrong, should I have remained strong? Am I not her protector, is it not my duty to shield her? Was it selfish, did I put her ahead of their needs when they are so desperately in search of the broken seed? Zadkiel, I am lost and in fear, I searched for you but could not see you near. The words flowed with surprising ease as I watched her fall to her knee’s. Her beliefs torn apart, her thoughts questioned she stumbled upon lies a clouded darkness fell upon her eye’s. Chance and chance again, Zadkiel, I gave in and before my eye’s grey scale fell and I saw as I never seen before,
and now her role within, is no more. Zadkiel, I ask for clarity and forgiveness reserved for the strong, is my heart right? Did I do no wrong?
Karen Hayward © 2015.
The conservation of energy so that I may survive,
a colony of destruction no shadows in which to hide.
Darkness fell and flames flared,
the corruption of memories never truly shared.
Oblivion denied frolicking with hate,
an illusion of pretence to celebrate.
Automated response clicked into place,
I wonder if I can wander without leaving a trace.
Silence erupts from the neck of brown glass,
repetition the new pattern learnt from the past.
I’ll sit for a moment take heed of the day,
before resting my body in the bed where I lay.
I’ll look to the window where the moon does glow,
I’ll ask her to help me so that I may grow.
I’ll speak with the angels and beg them for strength,
Metatron will show me in my dreams at great length.
I’ll listen to the silence as it screams into life,
Piercing reality like a sharpened knife.
No words I will say and you know this is true,
You’ve trampled my dreams
and I have nothing new.
Karen Hayward 2015©.
My soul has been aching, waiting for you.
Searching the empty sky for your return,
Your call whispering in the night of blue
Oh how deep it is my heart does yearn.
On this eve of evermore your light shines
upon my door, so close to your full form
I count the seconds until it is time
as your energy creates a loving storm.
For you are life and you are she
An empty sphere of dark and light
So simple. Without you we cannot be.
You come to us on the darkest nights,
sprinkling down your diamond shine
So we may know, it will all be fine.
Karen Hayward ©2015.
I’m still finding what it is, to have a poets mind.
I’m still discovering what it means to be, part of a kind.
I’m still over whelmed by these constant words that I find,
and i’m still accepting that this path is mine.
Karen Hayward ©2015.
The switch came with a level
of ease that only the broken know.
It had lay there dormant before your
you never saw and you never see.
I always wondered how the transformation
now your eyes see an
entire world and no longer
they see me.
Did you ever see the chrysalis?
It was always your creation,
never could you have dreamed
of the butterfly I would become.
I want the darkness to engulf me
to wrap its cold dead fingers around me
and drain me of what innocence I have left.
I want to be a walker of the night,
to disperse the shadows of doubt
and fill them with the heat of revenge
and when the dark angels are sent
to retrieve my broken soul
I will ask them of their crimson role.
I want the darkness to engulf me.