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Adieu

Poetry Prompt:
What in your life is coming to an end making way for something new? How do you handle endings, are they easy or hard? Samhain/Halloween is a time where the veil between worlds is thin and a good time to say goodbye to those that have passed in the last year, who do you need to say goodbye to? What closure do you need? Free write answering one or more of these questions.

 

To the single years I bid adieu

I grew oddly attached,
Attached to my single years,
Years that, while they were present,
Presented drunken tears.

First dates were mayhem,
Mayhem I seemed to understand,
Understand as if I knew nothing better,
Better than even the back of my own hand.

I sit here startled by the shine of my ring
Ring ring-a-ling-ding
Ding dong, who would want
Want to give me this bling?

Our hearts matched up,
Up to the Heavens above
Above all else and everything
Everything turned into love.

The terror of being
Being hitched and not alone–
Alone, that feeling—
Feeling I got to know…

It is so scary,
Scary to say yes and commit
Commit to eternal love,
Love forever, and all of that sappy shit

But with you I welcome
Welcome this scary chance
Chance it, let’s do this,
This risk so scary we might pee our pants!

You are my wife-to-be,
Be it scary and true.
True it is that…
That forever I’ll love you.

Darkness

Today I had the privilege of being part of a writing workshop led by James Lecesne, co-founder of The Trevor Project. The workshop was about writing to our younger selves, something that was beautiful, poignant, and tear-inducing. It really left me reflecting on my own life, my voice, and how far I’ve come in the past 6 or 7 years.

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James Lecesne signed my copy of The Letter Q, the book he edited in which the workshop was based.

During the writing portion of the workshop, we wrote letters to our younger selves. At one point, I found myself writing about my Grandpa (Buster)’s death, and the impact it had on how I’ve responded to deaths in my life since.

I also started thinking about Lauren, my friend who took her own life two years ago.

Perhaps this is cheating a bit, but for today’s writing prompt I was asked to write about a social issue, touching upon “light” and “dark” stuff. The poem I wrote the weekend after Lauren’s death came to mind… so here it is.

“La Mort de la Lumière”
KB (copyright 2011)

At night I feel the warmth of your fire in my fingers;
the light flickers as golden embers slowly fall.
To my heart I hold you close–
an evanescent moment of serenity–
as the cold, bitter wind blows fiercely
and threatens to make you disappear.

I realize your time is fleeting, and your glow will disappear,
yet I expect you to stay ‘til the last of the wax drips onto my fingers.
When you first came to be, you were held fiercely–
protection for a single flame destined to fall.
Until then, I embrace your serenity
and let your beauty stay close.

I wrap my hands around you, holding you close,
not knowing that you are fighting to disappear,
not knowing that you have a plan to find serenity,
and simply uninformed that you are slipping out of my fingers.
I continue to hold you, trying to protect you from the fall
as you continue to fight time fiercely.

Your flames begin to burn me fiercely–
a sign that the end is close–
but I do not know you are about to fall.
I do not know your light will disappear,
and I do not know you are escaping my fingers.
In this moment, I find only your warmth and serenity.

I sit in the shadows, your glow creating my serenity
as the night winds begin to hit me fiercely
and I start to feel tremors in my fingers
as I fight to hold your warmth close.
You fight back, wanting to disappear
and already beginning to fall.

I wail as I realize you have started to fall,
and an eerie brightness confirms your serenity
as you lose the last of your oxygen and disappear.
I bawl and weep, sobbing fiercely
as the existence of your light comes to a close
and I learn I will never again feel your flames in my fingers.

Once you disappear, I slowly begin to fall.
My fingers search for a sign of serenity,
but with the loss of your light, I fiercely cry. Your time has come to a close.

My (Semi-Secret) Engagement

I became engaged this weekend, but I am keeping my engagement a secret for fear of losing my job.

ringsun

V and I had a romantic getaway in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut this weekend. We arrived on Friday night, and she was super romantic and proposed under the stars by the water while I was a sarcastic ass. It was very us.

We were floating on Cloud 9 the entire weekend. Our happiness was indestructible. The texts, calls, and Facebook comments and tweets of congratulations and happiness blew up our phones. Life was perfect.

Then, we started the 4-hour drive home on Sunday and I started thinking.

When I think, I overthink.

My mind wandered to a fellow teacher friend’s recent engagement, how her students started squealing once they spotted her ring, and how she was able to share her excitement with her students.

I can’t do that.

I have a very open and honest relationship with my students. I “keep it real” with them if they “keep it real” with me.

On the first day of school, two classes asked if I had a boyfriend. The answer was no. Two other classes asked if I was in a relationship. The answer was yes. Neither of these answers were lies.

If I come into school wearing an engagement ring, someone is going to put two and two together.

Normally, I would say screw it. It took me awhile to accept who I am, and I am proud to be an out, lesbian poet and blogger. In fact, if you Google me, that’s what comes up.

Yet… I’m hiding my engagement.

I love the diversity of my school. I have quite a number of students from varying cultural and religious backgrounds. And… a lot of students who have made it clear they don’t accept homosexuality. I have a Zero Tolerance policy in my classroom for name-calling and discrimination of any sort. I regularly have to fight against preconceived notions and ideas stemming from cultural and religious beliefs I know nothing about. For a lot of my students, any sexuality other than heterosexuality is a one-way ticket to Hell. My students and their families feel strongly about their beliefs, and I admire that. What I don’t admire is the power my students and their families unknowingly have over me.

I am a non-tenured first year teacher. If a parent or guardian calls to complain about the fact that a flaming homo is teaching his or her student, that goes on my permanent record. If I have any parent complaints on record, it affects my chance of having my contract renewed.

So, for the time being, I am silent.

ringchain

I am wearing my engagement ring on a long chain around my neck and tucking it into my sweater every day before school. I am missing out on beaming and showing off my ring to my co-workers, and I cannot even honestly answer what I did this weekend.

I am choosing to go back into the closet after being out and comfortable with who I am for years simply so I do not have to worry about parental concerns that a lesbian cannot do a great job teaching their students about reading and writing.

I have a secret engagement.