Almost Abandoned At Six Years Old
Orange tiger lily grows tall in
cut-down milk container
black soil smells sweet
I planted it
I water it
I love it
but Mom left it
somewhere in Mount Vernon
when we moved to Brooklyn
She also left Noisy
cocker spaniel who
loves Kennel Ration
and long walks on
She would have left me
but I made sure to
hold her hand.
Previously published in The Tishman Review.
Marilyn O and her Catholic
friends chase me home
yell Dirty Jew!
taught by moms + dads
priests + nuns that
I killed Christ
that four-year-old me
murdered their God
How likely is that?
Previously published in Anti-Heroin Chic.
she hovers in the nether space
somewhere between life and death
undecided whether to yield or fight
she hovers oblivious to North Star
her only two lovers gone
one to God, the other to New Jersey
she can’t leave
she can’t stay
her body still functions with ventilator
DNR* instruction rescinded when
death came close and breathed icicles
and she remembered how much
she hates the cold
and why she chose Florida sunshine
and weekly visits with the manatees
capturing Kodak moments as they
body surf, barrel roll, and
eat freshwater vegetation.
I too hover in the nether space
waiting for a phone call
from her or about her.
Previously published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine.
Judy Shepps Battle has been writing essays and poems long before retiring from being psychotherapist and sociology professor. She is a New Jersey resident, addictions specialist, consultant and freelance writer.