So I don’t mind sharing my writing when its in its early stages. You know, the stuff I call crap. Lol. Typically, I post poems on here and have occasionally posted excerpts from my published novel and poetry anthology. As most of you know, one of the projects I’m currently working on is a poetry/short story anthology. I’ve been focusing more on the stories than the poems lately, so I’ve decided to share an excerpt from the story I’m working on. I’ll post the first page today and maybe a couple more pages within the next couple of days. Please feel free to offer feedback, any kind of feedback. 🙂
*Note: I do have a couple of projects underway right now, one of which is a poetry book of love poems, so, at any point, I could switch up and go back to the poetry. I’m excited about both projects, but I’m just trying to focus my energy on one project at a time. But you know the Muse is a demanding woman and she will have her way. 🙂
Death lurks in the darkness, not because she’s waiting or because she’s hiding. Death doesn’t have to do either. She has the luxury of wearing a cloak of nonchalance and indifference as she travels from one place to another. When I picture Death, I picture her sitting under the blanket of nighttime darkness under one of those huge pine trees, chewing on the end of a fallen pine needle and her feet carelessly perched atop one of those old crates that were once used for carrying milk bottles. Dressed in an ordinary white T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and a black leather bomber jacket, Death doesn’t look threatening at all. She has to be, otherwise she’d raise eyebrows and maybe ire.
Death is average looking. One of those women it’s possible to see and not see at the same time. That’s why some people are shocked when Death shows up. They’d possibly been staring in her direction all along, but wasn’t really seeing her.
When it’s time to stake her claim on a dying body, Death tips the crate away from her as she stands and casually strolls off to claim the life of the one she’s been owed since the beginning of life.
Every time a baby is born Death lays down another tally mark for a life she will one day claim. So, no death doesn’t have to lurk in the shadows waiting for the chance to pounce. At every birth, Death whispers the terms of an unspoken contract, promising to one day claim what is owed to her.
Even knowing this, I still have difficulty accepting the fact that on the day I enter the hospital to bring my daughter into the world, I end up lying in a hospital bed holding her lifeless body in my arms.
Less than thirty minutes after giving birth, I held my baby girl and looked down into a face that would never be disturbed by spontaneous laughter. Eyes that would never lock onto my own and plead for me to lift her up in my arms. Death had been standing in the muted shadows of the hospital room and I’d been too busy participating in the farce of a delivery, believing that I was enduring all that pain to get the chance to hold my darling baby girl. Someone to love and someone to love me in return. I vowed from the moment I found out I was pregnant to love her better than my mother had ever loved me. By the time I realized something was going wrong with the delivery, it was too late.
Staring down at my baby girl, willing her eyes to open and knowing they never would, I struggled to hold my tears in check. I was afraid my tears would somehow wash away the peace that settled on my daughter’s features as Death welcomed my baby girl into her arms.
Unlike other babies, she did not come into the world wailing an announcement of her arrival. My little Paris Nichole entered the world as silently as Death had entered the hospital room. Her name, decided when I was only eleven years old, a combination of the city I one day hoped to be able to visit and the best friend I lost when I was in the sixth grade. My best friend Nichole was walking home from school when a group of guys in two cars started shooting at each other. Death had shown up to claim her before she dropped to the sidewalk.
I lifted Paris Nichole close to my face so I could smell the top of her head. Though her skin still feels warm when my lips brush against her forehead, there are none of the sweet scents associated with a newborn baby. She doesn’t smell like baby lotion recently applied to her skin or like baby formula that somehow finds a way to settle within the folds of a baby’s neck, even when they’re wearing a bib. There hadn’t been time for any of that.
Remember to love on someone today and choose happiness. Yes, you have a choice. You can choose to be happy. It’s not necessary to just give in to those circumstances that are seemingly try to block your happiness. All you have to do is choose to be happy. I promise you, it’s that simple.
Peace & Love,