Single woman thought of the day

I wait, in the suffocating emptiness of impatience, for a man–worthy of my love–to love me.

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Captive Listener

After leaving an abusive marriage, my mother updated family members on my recovery in this way, “Lucy no longer looks around the room for permission to laugh.” I wasn’t even aware I’d been doing this until it was pointed out to me. For this reason, I chose to write this poem in third person.

Captive Listener
By Lucy Furr

When others laugh…

She sits quietly

Dousing joy

Unsmiling

Until laughter is approved

Her ears prick outward
straining to hear his crackle of euphoria blend with others in happy, symphonic unison.

Musicians tell her she has “no ear”

“Just mouth the words, don’t sing,” they say.

But they are wrong
Her hearing is fine-tuned
She hears subtleties
She hears his silence amidst thunderous cachinnation and, on cue, mimics ill-at-ease

Or, plucks his laughter from raucous seas and yokes her laugh to his.

On these rare moments…
her heart sings.

Daddy I Remember…

by Lucy Furr

Today with oxygen and walker tight in hand,

we shuffle past the window, ‘round the kitchen,

down the hall.

With loving hands I brace your weakened frame

so you won’t fall.

But, Daddy, I remember when

you ran with healthy lungs and legs, holding me on wobbly bike,

as I progressed from tiny trike.

Today I brush your teeth

and shave your sagging scruffy neck.

But, Daddy, I remember when

I’d snuggle close. You’d tease and hold me tight,

then tickle me with whiskers as squeals of fun met morning light.

Today I comb your grey, sparse, wiry hair.

But, Daddy, I remember when

I climbed on cushions piled high to reach your black and curly hair.

You’d lay back and close your eyes and let me try a few new fashions.

With warm water in a cup, pink curlers, ribbons, barrettes and bobby pins,

I’d build creative up-do’s; then hold a mirror for you to see and ask,

“Daddy, what do you think?”

With water dripping down your neck, you’d respond with complimentary words,

and I’d beam and blush so gullibly.

Today I yearn to talk with you of vicissitudes of life.

Once I thought I knew it all. Not so. There’s much for me to learn.

But talking is a strain.

You’d rather use that perfunctory wave of hand than form a word or two.

But, Daddy, I remember when

you’d reply to all my silly questions of what and how and why.

Brilliant explanations to the miracles of life.

Today, I tuck you into bed, not knowing if in the morn’ you’ll wake.

Because you hate the cold night chill, I pull covers up around your chin,

then gently kiss you on your cheek and say,

“I love you Daddy. I hope you know I do.”

You answer back with just one, simple, acknowledging word,

“Good.”

But, Daddy, I remember when

you’d shape your lips into that crooked grin and say…

“I love you too.”

Fuck You, Dickhead

Disclaimer: This is based on a true story. Certain names and details have been changed.

Are we back in kindergarten? Seriously, Richard—Dick…head—Franco, you don’t like poetry? Fuck you!

Those are the words I should’ve voiced last night when you said, “Stop with all the poetry on your blog.” But I can’t always get to the root of my real feelings until hours, sometimes days, later.

Not everyone likes poetry. I get that. You probably got turned off to poetry after reading Walt Whitman back in junior high. There’s no telling how many budding poets fucking Whitman will underrun. If I was his English teacher, I’d have taken a great big red marker to his papers…or just fucked flunked him.

Not all poetry is created equal. Some poetry gives me poemgasms and others make me want shoot the poet for raping his lexicon. Poetry is personal. What speaks to me, may not speak to you. But to take the whole genre of poetry and toss it in the trash is asinine, you smartass swine. (Ha! Proof that rhyme makes lines sublime!) It’s like eating liver as a child and then refusing to eat steak because you hate beef.

What you don’t understand, Dickhead, is that poetry saved my life. Yeah, I know that sounds melodramatic so I’ll explain. When I was married to a Fuckiopath, I adhered to a shitload of unwritten fuckcrazy rules. Here are just a few:

  • Keep Fuckiopath Happy.
  • Don’t say or do anything to upset Fuckiopath.
  • When Fuckiopath hurts me, don’t cry. Tears make him, “uncomfortable” e.g. unhappy.

So I screamed inside my head—a lot. But, after thirty years of holding in the tears, eventually, I sprung a leak and poems seeped out. Poetry gave pain a voice. And, just as a small trickle of water soon becomes a stream and the stream a torrent and the torrent a flood sweeping all before it, my words tore our so-called perfect pretty Mormon family-life asunder—setting me free from that suicidal monster.

In this year’s super bowl ads, this public service announcement demonstrates how dangerous it is for a victim to speak. Please take a moment to watch this 30 second ad. (http://youtu.be/tJaSj_qipic)

The take away is: “When it’s hard to talk, it’s up to us to listen.”

That’s right, Dickhead, even if my words come out in rhyme…or gibberish, listen up. They have deeper meaning than kindergarten small-minds comprehend. I’m grateful that you’re reading my blog. Truly, I’m honored. I’m merely asking you to take a moment, use your big boy brain—the brain you use to engineer architectural masterpieces, speak three languages fluently, and waltz with world-class grace—to hear me…savor my beauty—my work of art.

Yes, I write poems. I’d say I wrote this one just for you but I didn’t. It trickled out four years ago as I began to understand the complexities and value of poetry. But, don’t worry, I’m writing a poem just for you. It’s called, Fuck You, Dickhead.

Poems Right Me

by Lucy Furr

I write poems

sudoku poems

swapping words

back to front, front to back,

up, down

crisscross

NO

more like Rubik’s poems

multi-dimensional in purpose and meaning

a playground for my prisoned thoughts

respite for my battered soul

a sunny afternoon spent tête-à-tête with great minds

poets, dead and living

a melancholy waltz in God’s embrace

words lines rhymes

alliteration

buried secrets

twisted reality

knots unwinding

mysteries revealed

truth spins round and round

I am right

poems I write

poems right me

Oh, and by the way, Richard. Thanks for holding me last night in that awkward moment when I cried on the dancefloor—out in front of everyone. You knew it was cathartic and patiently let the tears flow uninhibited. That took nerves of steel, especially for an engineer, to not step in and fix the leak. Your gentle act was…well…poetic. And, thanks for encouraging me to write this scathing post for you. That took courage, too. You are, indeed, a dear friend. Thank you. (((Hugs)))

Two Sides to Every Story?

Two sides to every story

Two sides to every coin

But what about the slivered edge

Circling round the dime?

Great minds may tout ability

To see both heads and tails

Then blindly shun or disregard

The slender, reeded side.

Could we through pious thinking

Naively reign supreme

Be quick to point a finger

Bear views robust in pride?

Three sides to every story

Three sides to every coin

Truth is round about us

Wise men seek this other side.

Note: When I wrote this poem, I was struggling with my belief in Mormonism. I didn’t know it at the time but I was beginning to see glimpses of truth: that my religion wasn’t what I thought it was. That I’d been lied to. I’d been duped.

Blessed Silence

Twenty-six years ago…

Painful questions stab me

with harsh rapidity.

He off-loads priesthood burdens

for me, his wife, to solve.

What are we going to do?

How will we pay the bills?

Where will we live?

How will we feed the kids?

Oh, he suffers so!

But I have no answers now.

I’ve just given birth

less than a day ago.

He probes again,

“What are we going to do?

How will we pay the bills?

Where will we live?

How will we feed the kids?”

No money for motel,

he pulls to side of road.

We sleep in small, cramped car

beneath the chilly stars.

In the pitch-black cloak of night,

I nurse my newborn babe,

Hush our whimpering toddler,

change diapers,

yearn for dawning rays of day.

He wakes and probes again:

“What are we going to do?

How will we pay the bills?

Where will we live?

How will we feed the kids?”


I clean my bloody mess

in Chevron’s Women’s Room.

Find nourishment for breakfast

in chocolate doughnut holes.

Setting off we drive.

Again he probes:

“What are we going to do?

How will we pay the bills?

Where will we live?

How will we feed the kids?”

Heart pounding,

I scream inside my head

wishing I could cry,

but simply say instead,

“Stop.

Pull over.

I need to get out NOW.”


Without a word,

I close the door behind me,

stride across the dry cracked soil

past a lonely cactus,

beyond the rolling tumbleweeds

…away from him.

I stand hand in hand with desolation,

…my only friend.

And I don’t want to hear

a baby cry,

my husband’s voice,

a bird chirp,

worms crawl by,

clouds float through the sky.

Not even…

God’s sweet whisper nigh.

Just…Blessed Silence.

I gather in the desert hush,

inhale the sun-warmed wind.

Then turn and amble back,

descend into my bucket seat.

And he does not probe again

…well…at least for now…

“What are we going to do?

How will we pay the bills?

Where will we live?

How will we feed the kids?”

Party of One

Sometimes, I can’t shake the feeling I’m being watched and look for a red laser beam on my chest. I always close my blinds when the sun goes down.

Sometimes, I wonder what day he’ll choose for his suicide/homicide. My birthday perhaps?

Sometimes, I wonder whether or not to attend a dance or special event because “he” might be there with a loaded gun.

Sometimes, I wonder about seemingly selfless acts of kindness. Why is this guy being nice? Who is he really? Who will he become when my wall comes down?

Sometimes, I jokingly say, “All men (and women) are sociopaths until proven otherwise.” I’m not really joking.

Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll go to my grave having never been loved.

Sometimes, I wonder if Humpty Dumpty is laughing at all the king’s horses and all the king’s men trying to put my shattered soul back together again.

Sometimes, I remind myself that I can’t possibly go to the grave having never been loved because I love me…and, it’s okay if I’m just a party of one…because I’m a f**king awesome…worthy of love.

Note from Lucy Furr: If you suspect that you’re in an abusive relationship or have been in one, I have several tips and resources that helped me escape my perpetrator. They are as follows:

  1. You don’t have to be physically assaulted to seek help from the women’s shelter. When I landed in the women’s shelter, my then-husband had never beaten me, though I lived in fear that he might.
  2. If you’re not sure you’re in an abusive relationship, seek help from the women’s shelter. They can help you sort out your emotions and answer questions.
  3. If you don’t want live in the women’s shelter, contact them anyway. They have an out-reach program that offers many resources and classes that are helpful.
  4. If someone is holding you hostage via suicidal threats, you’re likely in an abusive relationship. The women’s shelter can help you learn how to deal with suicidal partners in a healthier way.
  5. I strongly recommend reading the book, “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft. Even if you’re not in an abusive relationship, this is the best book on the market to learn about the red flags of manipulation and control. It’s the most important book you’ll ever read. All young girls should read this book before they start dating. (Note: The book isn’t just for women. It’s written for men too. The author didn’t want to say he/she throughout his book so he chose one gender for ease of writing.)
  6. Leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time for a victim. If your perpetrator hasn’t physically assaulted you yet, he/she might easily escalate to physical violence when he/she believes you might leave. Most domestic related homicides take place when a victim is leaving his/her partner. Don’t let your perpetrator know that you’re leaving.
  7. Just because a controlling person has no record of having been physically violent in the past, this doesn’t mean he/she won’t become physically violent in the future.
  8. Don’t jump into other relationships after leaving an abusive partner. Trust me. You’re f**ked up. It will take time, therapy and a lot of self-reflection to break the pattern of abuse.
  9. Movies and television don’t depict sociopaths accurately. They don’t look or act anything like Dexter or Hannibal Lecter. I highly recommend reading the book, “The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout.
  10. Before you attempt to date again, I recommend reading the book, “Dating Game Secrets to Marrying a Good Man” by Alisa Snell.
  11. Educate yourself about sociopaths. Visit: LoveFraud.com or PsychopathFree.com