Empty Room

Being a single mom isn’t hard because of the finances or their ages or being alone; It’s hard because you come home from work to a hollow silence. Anticipating their excitement, your 18 month old daughter screaming “Hi!” Then only hearing the echo of your own voice.  
Being a single mom is moving home with your parents and starting over; trying to build a foundation, rebuild your family minus one. It’s trying to find a sense of normality, projecting resilience and creating stability.

It’s letting go of their hands sooner than you thought you’d have to. It’s missing half of their time, missing some of the “firsts” because you’re at work or they’re with their father.

They grow up so much faster when they are gone half the time. You’re not leaving them just for the night or the weekend, but multiple nights, every week. Tears pouring as soon as they’re out of view. Ache in your chest when they’re so caught up with their father they don’t notice you slip away. Living behind a revolving door; waiting for it to be your turn, for them to step through again.

Your kids are your whole life and now you’re only half of theirs. You have never known a love the way you love your children; you have never felt an ache, a pain, an emptiness the way you feel when they’re gone.

Living off memories until they come back home. Watching their favorite movies and listening to their favorite songs; finding excuses to wander through their room. Planning all the things you’re going to do with them; crying when you know you won’t get to do half of those things you planned.

It’s biting back that bitterness and resentment because he has the kids. It’s communicating, standing your ground, and holding it together when you just want to scream, give in, and fall apart. It’s putting on a happy face and accommodating their father. It’s showing them courage and strength when you feel scared and weakened. It’s buying a Father’s Day gift they picked out for their dad, a man that hurt you, because you don’t want them to be disappointed or empty handed.

You feel like you’re losing time. Just yesterday he was 4, she was a newborn; now he’s going to kindergarten and she’s talking. The gaps growing more frequent, the burden on your heart growing heavier.

You walk by their empty room with eyes full of unspilled tears. This is being a single mom; staring in an empty room until they come back home.

© Chelsie Cummings 2017

;walk in the light

A creak in the gloom

A bump in the night

I step out of my dreams

And enter a plight

 

A tap on my shoulder

But as a I turn to see

I’m faced with no one

Just an expanse of trees

 

Branches’ claws grasp at me

Entangled in my hair

Yank at my limbs and clothes

Stripping me bare

 

Naked and exposed

Vulnerabilities on display

I try to make a run for it

But can’t seem to get away

 

I’m surrounded by darkness

Every which way I turn

I’m muted and blinded

By the thick trees and ferns

 

My mind is rejecting it, it can’t be real

What’s now in front of me

Based on the things

I’m preconditioned to believe

 

And yet I reach out my fingers

Grasping wisps of air

She levitates before me

Wind whipping her ghostly hair

 

The figure is striking

In a way that is familiar

The resemblance uncanny

I’m nothing but bewildered

 

I can’t help but stare in awe

Mouth agape and eyes wide

This can’t be possible…

Unless I have died

 

I reach my hands to my face

And it’s as if she’s my reflection

She moves with me simultaneously

She’s my spectral projection

 

A strong gust of wind

Suddenly knocks me off my feet

I’m floating up and up

There’s no ground underneath

 

She is there with me

We are now hand in hand

She guides me away

Toward light, from land

 

But I’m not ready to go

I’m not ready for the end

I have too much to do

So much left to mend

 

She whispers with her eyes

She tells me to let go

She says all will be okay

And I’ll know all I need to know

 

I release her hand

Or does she release mine?

I can see it now

Beyond the clouds, the Divine

 

I’m lifted up high

My soul is weightless

And I know I’m forgiven

That I am blameless

 

I’ve reached eternal life

I am filled with peace

Earthly worries have all passed

I’m finally at ease

 

Until I’m smacked back down

My weight suddenly dense

I’m falling back to earth

At a speed too intense

 

Instead of crashing, though

And shattering my fragile bones

My specter is there to catch me

And she carries me home

 

I awake with a gasp

And roll over in bed

I lay there quietly

And remember what she said

 

Let it go and all will be okay

I finally know what she meant

To find peace in my life

It’s time to forgive and repent

 

I make a vow to her

Laying in the cloak of night

I will release my grip on the past

And finally walk in the light

 

 

© Chelsie Cummings 2016

Featured photo found on Flickr.

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Yesterday met Today at the peak of midnight to pass along the torch of time.

“What happened to you?” Today asked.

Weary and heavily burdened, Yesterday replied, “Do not worry about me, for my time has come to an end. I will quickly begin to fade and eventually be forgotten. Do not worry about me, Today, for you will have troubles of your own.”

And with that, Yesterday was gone.

Today met Tomorrow at the peak of midnight to pass along the torch of time.

“What will you do?” Today asked.

Vague and heavily burdened, Tomorrow replied, “Do not worry about me, for my time has yet to begin. I will soon be revealed. Do not worry about me, Today, for you have troubles of your own.”

And with that, Today looked in the mirror to see its own troubles. Today no longer worried about Yesterday and Tomorrow. Today focused on its own troubles.

 

 

 

©   Chelsie Cummings 2016

Forever Be Mine

It was just another classic story of boy meets girl

But he didn’t know just how much she’d rock his world

She had long black hair and legs for days

He fell quickly in love and blind to her ways

She had big brown eyes he could stare into for hours

He was wrapped around her finger buying jewelry and flowers

He was transfixed by her, seemingly without cause

She was immaculate to him; he was unaware of her flaws

And this, unfortunately, would be his mistake

Because what he saw was only a masquerade

Just under the surface of all of her perfection

She hid a dark secret, not unlike an infection

In the recesses of her mind madness was brewing

No one would predict what she was thinking of doing

Until further notice she’d keep up the facade

And the poor oblivious boy remained in awe

But her mask began to slip; she was simply a wreck

And she just couldn’t help what would happen next

On the day in question, the boy was all smiles

He’d found the perfect gift after searching every aisle

The girl did her best to keep up her appearance

But the stormy weather outside ran interference

He showed up at her door, the gift for her in his hand

The anticipation was almost too much for him to stand

The door slowly creaked open before he could knock

When he saw her it was all he could do not to gawk

It was as if she had undergone a transformation

The poor boy couldn’t process the new information

She stood before him no longer in disguise

Baring all of her secrets, all of her lies

But he just shook his head; he stood in disbelief

She felt her burden lifted and was perfectly at ease

He made a dash for the door but she had locked him in

She wouldn’t let him off that easy; the fun was just about to begin

Later when the boy’s body was found, his face was frozen in fear

And someone had written in blood “Bloody Mary” on the bathroom mirror

The silly boy had summoned her but what he didn’t realize

Was she would fool him in such a way when he called her name three times

For the old legend says when you call out to meet her

She’ll show you your future lover or you’ll meet the reaper

But now as legend goes, she haunts with another

On the 14th of February, she’ll appear with her lover

The gift wasn’t with his body when he was found on Valentine’s

But whenever you see Mary she’ll have a ring engraved with “Be Mine”

 

 

 

 

©  Chelsie Cummings 2016

Dance with the Devil

Dance with the Devil

It started as depression, deep in her bones

Pushing everyone away until she was alone

Then a spark ignited a glimmer of hope

Pulled her out of bed to seek ways to cope

First it was just a job, not of modest means

But exciting nonetheless for a girl of seventeen

A tiny little outfit and makeup on her face

Was enough to turn the heads of men of many tastes

She sought it out; she loved it, reveled in the attention

She didn’t care who they were and age was never mentioned

Promiscuity was a fad and drunken nights a must

She exchanged her meager earnings for greed and lust

Partying all night and sleeping all day

Her friends couldn’t keep up; she drove them all away

But this was an easy fix, finding new friends

She searched for some online: the beginning of her end

It was a little after midnight when they began to chat

She snuck out of the house and met him where he was at

They shared hushed laughs and whispers

Before long he reached out and kissed her

What came next, though, is what changed her life

A gamble on which she’d wish she didn’t roll the dice

First he showed her how it was done

Then he helped her get in on the fun

He pressed the pipe gently to her lips

And held a flame just under the tip

He instructed her to slowly inhale in the smoke

And she found herself seduced by this unusual toke

She stared into his eyes and opened up her mouth

Then sat and watched the white cloud billow out

The high was so intense it literally stole her breath

This was the moment she turned herself over to meth

At first it was just for fun, she didn’t demand it

And he introduced her around, her circle expanded

A few times here and a few times there,

She met with the devil when she had money to spare

But it wasn’t yet an addiction; she could take it or leave it

It was all just experimenting, she thought she’d never need it

After raving endless nights and disappearing for a while

Her parents finally intervened on their child

28 days later she was back in the world

Clean and sober but still the same girl

She quickly grew restless and at eighteen was an adult

She took that as her cue and decided to bolt

She ventured underground to a world she’d never seen before

And soon realized she could not simply just explore

This new life consumed her until she met the devil again

With no one left to trust meth became her only friend

Dirty strip clubs and seedy motels by the hour

Her body no longer her own, giving ice all the power

She lowered her standards and let down her guard

Resorting to doing anything, nothing considered too far

But it was always just out of reach, that next high

Smoking no longer enough to keep her satisfied

She sought out a new way to attain that euphoria

And what she soon found was all too glorious

The needle delivered ice straight into her veins

An almost brand new ecstasy she never hoped to obtain

She became almost comatose in a drug-induced stupor

She lost nearly everything to those trying to dupe her

Little by little she began to wither away

Shooting more and more trying to keep darkness at bay

This poor girl didn’t fully fathom, she was blind from the start

When you dance with the devil he steals away your heart

Too late she realized her life was tainted

The good times a façade the devil had painted

All those times she thought were good were nothing but lies

Every angel during her highs was the devil in disguise

She couldn’t stop or put it down, this much she knew

But she couldn’t do it anymore; she knew this to be true

With what little dignity she had left to muster

She made her choice; life had lost its luster

The razor blade was sharp, she pressed it until it pierced

And her wrists cried blood and her eyes bleed tears

She took the easy way out and gave up the fight

Waiting for freedom to take her into the night

The girl didn’t realize in this way the devil won

The devil always catches up, no matter how far you run

She was wrapped in the arms of the devil and he carried her to her death

Before her eyes closed one final time, she wished for one more hit of meth

©  Chelsie Cummings 2016

The Old Man on Devil’s Hill

The following poem/short story is something I wrote a couple of years ago when I was feeling in the Halloween spirit! I wanted to share it because it’s one my works I’m most proud of. When it comes to poetry and short stories, I tend to write a little on the dark side, so be forewarned. I’m no Stephen King, but he’s definitely my muse for majority of my writing!

Please enjoy and leave feedback! All criticism, whether negative or positive, is welcomed and appreciated.

 

The Old Man on Devil’s Hill

I was just a young girl when I ran away

And climbed Devil’s hill where I was forbid to play

A dark scary castle stood at its peak

The closer I got the more I felt weak

But onward I went to the castle door

I couldn’t turn back now, of this I was sure

With creaking hinges, the door unsealed

I peeked inside, unsure of what would be revealed

The shadow of an old man appeared before me

His piercing eyes glaring and stormy

A whispered invitation leaked from his hoarse voice

Would you like to come in?” he asked, as if I had a choice

I was drawn into the foyer by an unforeseen might

The door slammed behind me shutting out the night

“Could I offer you a glass of water or a place to sleep?”

The chills in my bones told me he’s company I shouldn’t keep

But, “Yes,” I replied, “I would like to lie down”

I was weary from the long hike here from town

He showed me to the guest chambers and I climbed into the bed

Against my every instinct, on the pillow I laid my head

I was awoken by a laugh, a cackle, a howl

A ringing in my ears and a smell so foul

Terror and fear coursed through my veins

I ran through the castle and out into the rain

I ran and I ran and until I could run no more

Until my feet had reached my family’s door

I paused in hesitation; from the window I saw a light

And holding the candle, a man with hair snow white

“But wait,” I whispered, “This cannot be my father”

I reached for the door, but shouldn’t have bothered

This was my father; he held evidence in his hand

A picture of him and me when he was a younger man

But how could this be I was gone but an hour

I squatted in confusion, I shuddered, I cowered

When I stood before the window, my eyes deceived me

I denied the way my reflection perceived me

I looked to my hands, covered in rotting flesh

I’m a walking corpse never put to rest

In utter bewilderment I dashed out of sight

Stumbling, falling, how did I become such a fright?

Breathless and broken I crouched on the castle porch

The door flung open, the foyer lit by a torch

I gasped at the reality that stood before me

Horned and tailed, the Devil in all his glory

“My child, what is wrong?” he asked through a menacing grin

“What did you do to me?” I cried out again and again

The cackle, the laugh, the howl that awoke me before

Came again from his throat as I desperately clawed the door

My deteriorated body and bloody nubs and fingers

Sank to the ground as the silence between us lingered

“You gave me your soul, you foolish girl!

I own you now, you’re no longer of this world!”


©  Chelsie Cummings 2016