Mother Father

I was born of a speck of ash,

I was birthed from a womb of rust.

I was raised in a room of violence

When I was frantic for a thimble of trust.


I was the creepy kid on the playground

Shoes with holes and too-high jeans.

I was shuttled to the edge of the school

Where imagination spilled at the seams.


Mother money, father anger,

Nothing growing but rage and fear

Broken chairs, broken bottles

Under the table and the bed in tears.


I became an adult of honor.

My work was my lone identity.

I looked sharp in my uniform

But inside I laid in poverty.


Dust covered my inner playground.

I strode for wealth and sweet affection.

I ended up with corpses and politicians,

Abuse for viewing in different directions.


Mother drunken, father distant,

Little girl buried in a weary embrace.

Dirt is the base of the road to death,

And only my life in the dust I trace.


I lost my job, my mind, my world.

I sit here and plink words on a screen.

My muscles ache but there is solace

That I won’t end up where I could’ve been.


Little girl is flapping her grownup wings,

Ready to ride new realms of her own.

I hold back my anger, my pain, my tears.

The reaper rips the muscles from my bones.


Mother deceased as is father,

Turned to ash and what it’s worth.

Return again to mother and father,

Parents of a new patch of this earth.


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

Time to Look Within

You see the gray creeping in your hair roots.

You see the fat stored in your belly and chin.

You feel the pain in the knees and shoulders.

The outside hurts; time to look within.


You see your security swiped by cold greed.

You see your safety shifting to the grim.

You feel the fear rumbling in your chest.

The outside hurts; time to look within.


You see your children leave, not returning.

You see your work prospects becoming dim.

You see your friends fall into their graves.

The outside hurts; time to look within.


Is there sadness? Is your life unfulfilled?

Is there regret for things that should’ve been?

Is there longing for something unbegotten?

Then it’s time to stop and look within.


Pull your joys out of your bucket list.

Don’t set aside what you want to begin.

Appreciate the breaths you take in the morning

And be grateful that you can still look within.


©2018 Valerie Hathaway

Who What Where

Who do you want to be?


Rest your fingertips together.

In the temple of your hands

Make a wish for this life.

Angels, guides, whatever you believe—

Even the atoms if that helps.

The atoms are only energy,

And energy can be changed.


What do you want to do?


Feel the air course through your lungs.

They inhale and exhale,

Taking the old air out,

Bringing the oxygen in.

Let your mind follow your breath,

Taking the old, stale thoughts out

Bring the new ideas in.


Where do you want to stay?


Think of a pleasant place,

Exciting and bustling

Or sheltered and serene.

Place yourself there

For as long as you like,

For a second or an eternity.

Live in this place.

Bring it in your breath,

Feel it on your fingers.


Let go, let go, let go

Of this stress and strife.

Let your body relax,

Let your fingers tingle,

Breathe a long sigh.


You are home.


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway