My Poems: Beau Fleuve

All posts in the My Poems: Beau Fleuve category

“Out of Dodge”

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

“Mama, where’re we goin’?”

Driving down the road

We take one last glance before leaving it all behind.

“Don’t know yet, Baby—just away, that’s all.”

I’d half-done this before—

Half-done meaning I’d changed my mind.

Oh, sure, he’d cried,

But my weekend stand was undone

With a return to submission,

Foolishly falling into the familiar pattern of

Doting wife and

Dog on a leash

Screwing any real chance that change would or could occur.

Fear can do that, you know?

A rattling muffler brings me back

To that fueled-up car filled with only what the kids could carry—

Hell, you can always get more stuff, right?

But we only get one chance at living

And it’s hardly worth the bother with no chance to grow.

Time to head out of Dodge with the sun to our backs—

That thrilling, frightening step out…

“An Awakening”

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

A blithe fairy released from a three-decade slumber

Awoke in a blossoming rose–

Fear and despair

Had trapped her there,

Escaping from all her woes.


Till one day there came a Lady fair

Who discovered a withering bloom–

She tended and fed

The flow’r in its bed

Dissolving the spell of gloom.


It flourished under her tender care;

The pain of the past washed away–

The rose opened wide

With the fairy inside

Bringing hopes for a brighter day.


She smiled and she stretched and she tested her wings,

Lightly touching the blooms of her bed —

This Celtic delight

Was prepared to take flight

And she circled the Lady’s head.


“How can I thank you?” the fairy proclaimed.

In reply, the kind Lady smiled–

“It was not only me

Who set your soul free–

‘Twas the love for our Inner Child.”

“Lilies, Roses, and the Keeper of the Wood”

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

Two beds lay side by side in the midst of a tangled wood;

One with lilies, one with roses—an overshadowed rainbow.

Years of neglect left them choking on weeds

Till the Keeper of the Wood happened by.

Moved by their beauty and pitying their plight,

He devoted himself to their care.

With attention to the lilies first,

He loosened the soil to remove undesired vegetation;

Greater care might have been taken for

The white ones were lost to impatience.

Fertilization of the bed followed–

With the day lilies responding best,

Increasing their blooms five-fold.roses


Attention was next turned to the roses

And the process repeated;

Again the white flowers were sacrificed!

One would think he’d have learned from experience…


The Keeper of the Wood returned daily

To tend to his blossoming claim;

Roses, red and pink, flourished under his care,

Yet the yellow ones caught his fancy,

As did the orange and yellow lilies.                                                                             orange lily

He smiled to see their transformation,

Pleased that his efforts had paid off…

Summer days found him reclining bedside,

Plucking here and poking there, enjoying their fragrance–

What a happy time for him!


Soon the trees offered a colorful competition–

Bedecked in scarlet, accessorized in gold,

They lent a regal air o’er the garden.

Pruning time came and the Keeper of the Wood smiled

While trimming delicate branches and bulbs…

Often, without thinking, he cut so deeply that many perished;

The rest were lost to the cold.

Only Spring would bring notice

When he’d wonder where they’d gone,

Not recognizing the role he’d played.


“For Byl”

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

Give me your tired,

Your poor,

Your huddled mass,

Yearning to be free

By releasing all you acquired

In your quest to be you,

Immune to the sneers and retorts

Of those deficient in compassion.

Guts and gumption brought you here,

And with guts and gumption you shall go

With the knowledge that

Courage carried you

To what I ran from in fear…

Oh, you won, my friend!

Your legacy of acceptance

Teaches a lesson in self-love—

No berating sorrows,

No syndrome of regrets…

Be at peace—it’s ok…

“In My Arms”

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

Come to a room that’s warm and inviting

Enveloped in perpetual sunset– the sun’s blush,

Cuddle a baby in soft, fuzzy jammies

With a sweet smell of spring in his hair.

Warm lips against a petal-soft cheek

Drink in fragrance like nectar,

Tiny laughter mixed with yawns fills a yearning soul.

All too soon this too will fade

Like the blush on the face of the sun,

The child will grow leaving longing arms

Wishing for Springtime again.


Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

It hurts to be in love with a friend,

Albeit a friend with special privileges.

All the ingredients are there

Including the lemon that curdles the cream—


The sweetness of what I feel is

Soured by the

Paradox of spoiling a friendship with love.

“Feeding Frenzy”

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

“Variety is the spice of life”

And I half-heartedly agree.

Not that the buffet isn’t ample—

Quite the contrary!

But I’ve sampled enough to be selective

While he’s still eyeing the appetizers.

As he feasts his fill,

I savor the knowledge that

His plate does hold some substance

Among the empty calories.

Once gorged on quantity,

Indigestion will lead him toward quality;

Then he, too, will become selective.

But will there be anything left then?

“That Ol’ Greasy Spoon”

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

Oh, there is no substitute for the experience of the Ol’ Greasy Spoon!

Something about surviving the Garbage Plate

Should earn one a badge of honor…

What is a Garbage Plate, you ask?

(As if the name weren’t self-explanatory!)


Pull up a greasy booth

And feast upon a platter half covered with macaroni salad,

The rest with a mound of mushy, burned homefries

(Or were they once mashed potatoes?

The absorbed grease might make one think so!)

Onto this delectable pile add:

Two cheeseburger patties (hold the buns!),

Plops of mustard,

An orgy of onions,

All topped with a gray, minced mystery meat

Seasoned with the unidentifiable.


Now why, you might ask, are you awarded two slices of bread with this concoction?

Well, you need something to soak up all that grease

Or else it will slosh and slip through

Your digestive tract amidst waves of nausea.

A quick glance tells me I’m the only female in the place—

Uh oh!  My curiosity might bring the fate of Blue Beard’s wives

To become that gray, minced mystery meat

With the unidentifiable seasoning!

A misogynist’s delicacy subliminally served to the

T-shirts and ties,

Khakis and jeans,

Cell phones and pagers amongst ball caps and key rings

Lined up seven deep for their daily lube jobs.


Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

“What if…?”

“If only…”

“Will I ever…?”

Run through my lonely mind

Like a skipping phonograph left to run,

The words echoing like Chinese water torture

In the silence of my emptiness.

Filling the void by filling my bed—

Uncleanliness lingers after lust prevails,

Requiring more than soap to wash away

The impurity of putrid passion

In the arms of a stranger;

A reminder of what I don’t have

Once the encounter is over.

Loneliness intensified by a line of lovers

Who vanish after taking their fill

Leaving me with

“What if…?”

“If only…”

“Will I ever…?”

But friendship turns loneliness to solitude,

For even when absent, a friend is there,

Present in my life is not present in my sight.

Solitude is filled with




Whereas loneliness is a bottomless chasm

That all the physical presence in the world cannot fill.

The gift of a willing ear,

A knowing smile,

And unconditional trust

Alleviates the pain and

Elevates my soul to a heightened awareness

That absent does not mean gone

And that solitude can be a

Precious prelude to intimacy.


Lifting the needle from the phonograph,

I smash the vinyl disk

Like the outdated mode that it is,

Confidant that I can hear the

Golden silence of solitude.


“Insurance Assurance”

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

Invisible does not equal non-existent…

Blood tests will not reveal its presence,

But it’s there all the same,

As debilitating as its physical counterpart…

Mental illness….shhh


Shhhame on those who look the other way,

Shhhaking their heads and

Shhhrugging an indifferent shoulder!

Shhhame on insurance companies who

Shhhould be looking out for our best interests!

But they say…

“You’re not sick”

“Get a hold of yourself”

“Snap out of it”…

We have a right to wellness,

But only if we can afford it, eh?

The rich carry Blue Cross…

The poor carry blue hearts…

Too bad the mind is not as visible as the brain;

Maybe then there’d be compassion.

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