Getting Used




Making a tangle of mine
from beauty that isn’t.


Getting Used


We all get used.


Get used by the ones who want

what we fought for or

What we got in the bet

we didn’t have any money on.


Used by the ones who promised

to keep and have and hold.

Because you’re alone and it’s 2 AM and

bottles won’t make themselves and

the bottle lost its cork

and bloody nipples

make the milk pink.


Fight back,

they say.

Stand up,

they shout.





Being needed is one thing.

But needing?

Don’t do that.

Don’t ever need.


You’ll get used.


I’ve been used.


And now, I’m afraid…


I’m getting used.


Getting used to having him there


Used to asking and assuming

that I don’t have to ask.


Used to us.

Used to together.

Used to two pillows,

one blanket.


Two alarms,

on one nightstand


Used to ‘I forget whose book this is.’

And ‘can I borrow your socks?’


Used to ‘just text my mom.’

And ‘I’ll hang out with him while you’re gone,

we’ll be fine.’


Used to a voice that whispers

when mine is screaming.


Smiles when

all I can do is cry.


What if I get used


and then it goes away;




how do I get used to that?


Isn’t it better,


to stay safely used,

unused safe.


Back in the corner,

tucked with the other,

like a gnarled ball of yarn,






knowing our place

taking comfort

in slouched, bent


folded edges.


But I can’t

stay back,

stay away.


He picks me up

glides fingers

over me-

sees me,

reads me,

understands my story

and hears my words.


I didn’t want love.


Now, I’m used to it.


And for it,

I’ll risk a someday


on the shelf

for a tonight

a last

in his hands.

Chance horror

for the glimpse

at a last page

with a happy ending.


Long novel happy,

not short story.

Time for the characters

to learn, change,

diverge plots

and find their

place between the many pages.



getting love

getting close

getting hurt

getting away inside

getting a glimpse

getting to smile-

not always-

but at least once every day,

getting everything

at least

until the yarn

runs out.

As we knew when we bought it

risked the unravel

and started to knit



I’m getting used.






Intrigued by my dark yarns? My new book Drowning Above Water is now available at Amazon. 

It’s Always Something

Like many women of my rapidly advancing age, I loved Gilda Radner. I watched old SNL skits on VHS, while eating popcorn with my dad. He and Gilda helped me learn what funny was. 

When I later became a reader, I devoured her memoir “It’s Always Something”, probably still while eating popcorn. The book was funny and heartbreaking. A passage always stuck with me. 

When Gilda was advancing down the floor, dancing with cancer, she told of lying in bed at night with Gene Wilder. She relayed her memory of once again crying, being scared and needing someone to hold her and make it all okay. 

She revealed, to my teenage disgust, that on one dark and lonely night, Gene could no longer do those things. He too was tired. He was scared. He needed someone to rub his own cheek with words of solace, and make it all okay. 

How dare he! I spat and eye rolled and huffed as only a disappointed privileged teen can. How could he ever consider not being there to the very last curl of his hair for Gilda Radner!

I didn’t get it. 

Now I do. 

I watched my own dad die of cancer. I watched my mother care for him as he slowly did. My father needed the physical care. The mental care. 

But so did my mother. 

It’s not easy to be the caregiver or the partner. I know that. Sometimes, it really is easier to be the patient. As hard and callous as that sounds. 

I watched her do it before for him. Before cancer. She laid with him through anxiety and mental illness. I know there were nights that she didn’t have any more to give. When she was bone-tired from her feet to the end of pin-straight hair. When she needed someone to tell her it would be okay. 

There was no one. 

Last night, I lay there like my dad. 

I was the one hurting. 


And I was the one who asked to be held and comforted and coddled. 


And I never thought for a moment to consider if the one I was asking might not need some care, too. 

They did. 

I forget. I avoid. I neglect. Not on purpose. Not at all. But because while anxiety and depression hurts. And hurts. And then hurts even more. To have your own brain and body rebel and scream lies. It hurts. I was too busy hurting to see. And remember. 

It hurts to be the one watching. 

It hurts to give and give and never get any return. To reaffirm and encourage and try to lift up someone who seems to only want to drag themselves as far down in the pits as their claws will carry them. 

And that’s what I do. What many of us with unquiet minds do. And sometimes we bring the ones holding us down with us. 

Because it is always something. It’s work. It’s a kid. It’s a bill. It’s a failure. It’s a successs that’s not success enough. It’s a wonderful weekend of love and magic that your brain tells you to fight against for no good reason, only that you can’t believe it actually happened. 

Today, I want to remember. To be thankful for the love I take that is so freely given. Again and again. Even when I don’t see or believe it. To see, really see when someone is watching me and maybe hurting too. I want to go into the pit alone if I need, but alone. And I want to have strong, free arms to grab hold, to keep them from going into the same dark. 

That’s what love is. 

Being there. 



Remembering every little something.