Note: please listen to the poem here: https://soundcloud.com/gina-marselle/glory/s-RBmKOssZVEB I. There was a time before I loved horses. I was so little then, I probably had a made up name for horse. By the time I was 7 or 8, that is all I talked about. Soon, my soul transformed into a horse. I had a best friend horse, a soulmate before I turned 10. Santa brought her, and we were inseparable for 16 years. Her hoofbeats summoned my dreams, we galloped into a love not of this earth. Ancient like the desert sands. Horses became a mantra for breath. Then, I only dreamed for 20 some years. Now, a daughter raised, a son who is 9, I have this rescue horse that isn’t a dream, he breathes fire into my heart. He’s desert bound with the clear, blue sky as his kingdom. II. This afternoon, I felt most lost to myself. When I get like this, when my anxiety is about to break me, I drive to Edgewood. As soon as I pull into the stable, I see the horses. When I close my car door, I can already hear my horse nickering his greeting. Shaking his head. Trotting in his paddock. His tail raised high telling everyone that he is an Arabian horse. The color of midnight. His nicker makes his body quiver. His hello is for me—or for carrots. Today, he gets a giant Honeycrisp apple and leftover, bruised pears my son didn’t eat during the week. III. I try to remember life is lovely. Days are blessings. On days that I forget, I take a drive to Edgewood. to find that little girl I use to be. She was brave, courageous. She had a loud laugh. She rode bareback and galloped over the hillsides. I don’t ride my rescue horse. I don’t have that courage anymore. Instead, I dream we are running wild across the desert landscape. We are one as we chase the wind, leaving plumes of dust in our wake. The sun sits warm on our backs. My mother died last September. I have been a little lost. My husband moved out last October. I became a little more lost. COVID-19 never left. I became a little more lost. My horse doesn’t understand his job, but his therapy keeps my heart beating. In my dreams, we gallop until the suns and stars meet in glory. IV. This says to the world more than any poem, that I am before all else a lover of horses. In my soul, my bloodstream. My very heart beat. Fascinating is that a human heart and a horse’s heart can begin to synchronize within 35 feet of each other. The only thing closer, I think, is when the mother is pregnant with her child. God knew before I was born, that my spirit belonged to the horse. My mother loved horses. My mother’s mother loved horses. I love horses. I'm a protector of them. V. I believe this love will be the last memory of mine, as my final breath leaves my body. I hope that as I enter into the next light, I am granted a steed to ride the stars wildly and happily. If a shooting star you see, call me Joy as my hands merge into one with the fire mane of my horse’s light. My laugh will be loud. My smile wide. I will send light. And my loved ones will know joy. © Gina Marselle, January 8, 2022 Note: This poem was inspired by a writing prompt shared by Liza Wolf Frances (https://saturdays-sirens.com/liza-wolff-francis/). We read a poem by Lisa Fay Coutley called: Letter to the Aftermath. We created a word bank to use in a poem we wrote. My word bank from Coutley’s poem was as follows: heart shape, fall, leaves, 73 °, sunny, plumes of white clouds, desert, mountain, chickens, dirt, son, leaves, tomatoes, horse snort, sun and stars, warm air, peaches, bruised pears, apples and dust. To learn more about the poet, visit here: https://lisafaycoutley.com/poems/.
When an Alcoholic Goes to Recovery, Their Loved One Must Recover, Too
© Gina Marselle | 5 June 2021
Sometimes it means the world to still the mind
To meditate tranquility until your heart slows
Enough that the pump of your spirit is felt
Like river waves on toes
The earth moves so rapidly
But feels so still
Minus the early June breeze lifting hair tendrils wildly
As seen on the cover of an high fashion magazine
Sometimes it means the world to still the mind
To take a moment to view the garden as it grows
Memories come and go
Lingering echoes that disappear
Like rain in the desert
Then the quiet is granted
Even if it hurts
You wait for a sign,
As it sits in your heart
Courage to accept the answer
Everyone has to let go
Mortals aren’t God
And cannot change or control the wind
Or a person
Only self can be directed into movement or stillness
Right now, just appreciate
The lull of meditation
This moment of serenity
Do you know someone suffering from an alcohol addiction and you worry? Have you considered Al-anon? For more information please go here: https://al-anon.org/
One may believe that our task as mothers
is simply to love our children.
Some can’t see the yellow moon
or waves slap against the shore
or their worth.
They run like wind on tails of mustangs.
Hearts armored with granite
stitched together with fallen rose petals,
thin shards that slit throat—
killing that one chicken that always scurried up to the porch
when called out the back door, “Here, kitty, kitty…”
Some kind of crazy, a made-up horror film.
That chicken’s feathers were plucked,
emptied blood and guts,
Nowadays, kids don’t farm.
It may be grotesque,
but it is how chickens come to plate.
Fried in an old, black cast iron pan.
Oil splatters stove—
grease is difficult to remove
A homemade dinner served
with a box of cheap red wine.
An apocalypse hurts less.
Our tasks as mothers is simply to love our children.
My mother stopped loving me probably when I was 8.
I don’t blame her.
Or her mother.
Or my Great Grandmother.
They were all alcoholics. No one taught them how to mother or love.
They did the best they could.
There was no al anon. Or one day at a time.
Just a poison inside a bottle
hidden under the kitchen sink
only for daughters to bare.
When I gave birth to my daughter 20 years ago,
I labored three days—
Finally, a C-Section.
Then daughter nursed. I promised her
for all the setting suns,
I’d do my best to love her,
cherish her, want her, adore her.
Perhaps, God will recognize my hard work.
My daily struggle to mother.
Allowing forgiveness. It’s a tremendous gift.
My mother suffers from breast cancer now.
I don’t know how she is doing,
as she doesn’t communicate with me or my brother.
Sometimes she talks to my dad (her ex). He tells us sometimes,
but lately, no one mentions her. Already a ghost.
Mother stays hidden in thoughts and journal pages.
In quiet prayers.
Perhaps, God will give me strength to say goodbye—
not in sadness at her gravesite, but in my heart, instead.
©Gina Marselle, 2020