Jul 27, 2018

I Rose Where I Fell

I spent years volunteering for every job placed in front of me. Church was the biggest abuser of my willingness to serve. One year my friend Debby and I made all the costumes for the Christmas pageant. There were a thousand excuses why no one could help, but plenty of criticism about everything from color of robe to length of belt. Debby and I worked until two and three in the morning sewing, adding trim, and researching the look of Roman uniforms to the ceremonial wear of the high priest. We wanted the clothing to look as authentic as we could produce on a nothing budget. People needed so I exhausted myself to the point of illness trying to fulfill whatever that need was.

Year upon year I pushed myself until I was literally empty. I slammed into that metaphorical wall and I was done. I realized I had to be my priority. I was tired of being tired from helping without help in return. I became my own protector. I learned to say no. I learned to say it without guilt. 

I Rose Where I Fell

I used to twirl
in everyone else’s dance
until I bled every drop
of my do into their won’t.

Pale as a sacrifice I rose
where I fell and drank
from the well of self.

Belittle, berate, I no
longer hesitate to
prioritize I before you.

©Susie Clevenger 2018

Feb 4, 2018


PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

My grandfather was always inserting bits of wisdom in the oddest moments. Recently reflecting on the last time we were together, I wondered why grandpa thought eating ice cream was such a great time to speak on splinters.

“David, you have to barefoot walk some parts of life. You’ll never know how good soft shoes feel until you’ve toe limped with splinters.  It’s the thing that slows you down that shows you if the destination is worth the journey.”

I wish grandpa had written a lesson plan on how to appreciate treasure before it was lost to an obituary.

Jan 10, 2018

A Bit of the Devil

“Dear, you are wicked. Why do you insist on leaving that spider to act as host for your house plants?”

“Oh, it’s a bit of the devil in me who likes to scare a curse out of the sainted Mary every time she goes to pinch and pity speech my meager attempt at gardening. The cackles dancing from my lips aggravate her so much she huffs out like I had just slapped a priest’s bottom.”

“Well, add that to your list of offenses. It appears the Sacred Crochet Circle will be forgoing their stitches again to do another tea/exorcism.”

Friday Fictioneers

Dec 30, 2017

Silver Spin Revelation


A statue of wheels stripped from a herculean effort to be mobile rises in front of me in a twisted testament to tenacity and courage. I circle the art piece wondering who surrendered their metal to the eye pool, and think of all the times I let fear paralyze me. Mocked by wheels humming with memories of pushing through, going the distance, I feel ashamed I have a longer list of excuses than successes. Pain is an adversary to which I've always surrendered.  Prompted by this silver spin revelation I speak to whatever god is listening and ask for forgiveness.

I hamster wheel
into the new year
free of resolutions.

To be what each day requires
without a list is wisdom attained
from thumbtacked ink lines
faded into failure.

Friday Fictioneers is a 100 word photo prompt story challenge by Rochelle Wisoff- Fields. Find more stories written for the challenge here.

I added the seven line poem for Real Toads ~ The Tuesday Platform

Nov 29, 2017

If You Polish Enough Soot

PHOTO PROMPT ©What's His Name

James salvaged everything he could when his grandmother’s house burnt down.

He said, “If you polish enough soot from tragedy, you’ll find roots to build a bridge.”

Astonished, his brother argued, “A bridge! Why would you want what lived in that house crossing over anywhere near you? I could never sleep when staying there for the wailing in the attic and the wallpaper rearranging roses in its stripes every full moon. Grandma Winnie’s house sat twenty-five feet from Hemlock Cemetery’s plot of unmarked graves. Hell! The dead walked right through her front door. I’m done!

Nov 22, 2017


PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

I hate to move. Oh, if I could just be a minimalist instead of a forty year old with a teenager’s emotional attachment to junk. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d photograph that monstrous prom mum; put it in an album, and leave another gaudy offering in the landfill.

I museum heartbreak in little dusty coffins so crumbled I can’t even read the ink headstones peeking out among my shoes. Wait! I remember that necklace. It was a fourteen year old’s equivalent to a promise ring. David was so cute. Hmmm, with a little better packing it would all fit.

Nov 21, 2017

A Wonderful Interview

It takes a village to grow an author and I am so thankful for all the people who suggested I do an interview on Impact Radio USA's "Dr. Paul's Family Talk" hosted by Dr. Paul Reeves. As an author of poetry it was great to discuss what poetry means to me and why I write it.