Man of My Dreams 

Won’t you be my Romeo
Or perhaps my Prince Charming
Won’t you make my fairytales my reality
Be the man I see when I’m dreaming

Won’t you treat me like your first love
Make me the final love of your life
Won’t you vow to always love me
Ask me to be your wife

© 2017 Sarah Ritter. All Rights Reserved.

My Mother’s Garden

Today marks twelve years since my mom passed away. Twelve years of storing up so many things I would love to share with her. These days, as my life seems to be full of exciting news, milestones and accomplishments, I think constantly of all that I would love to talk to her about.

As David and I decorated the house we bought together with pictures of family, I found this picture of my mom and I standing in front of her garden in East Hartford. Every year, my mom would dutifully plant new marigolds and dusty miller along the borders of her gardens. Throughout the summer, she would fill small vases with black eye susans and daisies in the house. To this day, the smell of marigolds, and the sight of these flowers makes me think of her and smile.

The spring before my mom passed away, I asked her what she wanted me to plant in her garden. She replied with wildflowers, and I sense this decision was symbolic of her understanding that she soon would be a free spirit, unburdened by the pain that had infiltrated her life for so long. Upon her request, I planted various wild flowers seedlings while she sat nearby watching and directing where to place each. Over the next few weeks, we watched the perfectly groomed garden manifest into a carefree garden of unpredictable colors and foliage. Together, we made peace with the idea that this would be the last garden she would have.

On the day of my mother’s funeral, I was standing looking at the garden, when a cardinal flew into the yard. A close friend of my mom explained to me that this was a sign that she was here, letting us know that she was with us and that she was ok. And so, I like to think of her that way, visiting her garden just one last time, soaking up the beauty and bidding her final farewell.

© 2017 Sarah Ritter. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: Mother and Daughter in the Garden Spring 2004
Photo Credit: David Ritter

 

The Jungle 

There once was a girl who met a boy who liked to hike. They went hiking together and decided they had a shared love of nature. So he invited to his apartment. Together, they filled the place with orchids and plants. Occasionally guests would come over and muse that the apartment was like a jungle.

However, when the guests left, the jungle became dangerous. Daylight would fade away, and a moon-less dark night would begin. The once decorative plants would form a barricade of foliage between the girl and the outside world. The plant vines grew on the walls, windows and doors, blocking the sunlight and the fresh air. Contact with the outside world was forbidden. The boy would not let her leave and she became trapped inside.

Then the beasts would emerge. The boy and the girl would transform into primitive Tarzans. Mature conversation  would dissipate as words transformed into grunts and screams. The girl  grew more frustrated and scared with each passing day. The boy told the girl repeatedly that she was an angry and crazy girl. However, she knew it was him, who brought this feral creature out of her.

The girl would punch the walls and kick the doors trying to break free. But even when she did finally escape, she could not bring herself to leave. She knew he would come after her. So reluctantly, she returned inside to her captor, allowing the vines and foliage to fill in her exit. Though she wanted to leave, she knew she needed to develop a plan in order to successfully flee.  

Morning would eventually come and daylight would bring the promise of humanity. Sunlight would trickle in, erasing some of the shadows of the night before. The once dark and ominous foliage would reveal beautiful flowers in the sunlight. But always, as nighttime fell, the angry, resentful creatures would return and undo all the peace.

Then one day she grew brave. She took out the machete she had hidden, and began to cut out an exit. She chopped at all the spiraling vines, and the deceptively beautiful flowers. Slowly, sunlight started to peak through, letting the light into the room. Eventually, she had cleared away the foliage blocking the door. She unlocked each of the bolts and locks, turned the door knob and opened the door.

At last, she was able to break free. She ran outside the door, abandoning all of her possessions. Filled with the terror of being followed, she kept running without looking back. However, she gained strength with each mile of distance between her and the jungle prison.

The further she ran from the apartment, the calmer she became. The feral hostility melted away. Her calmness and beauty started to shine through, as she returned to her true self. Never again would she return to that jungle that had imprisoned her for so long.

© 2017 Sarah Ritter. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: Foliage, Tulum, Mexico 4/25/16

Photo Credit: Sarah Ritter

Conversation

Remember when conversation
Was like a map
Of unchartered territory
Full of open trails to explore
With no dead ends or wrong-ways
With no need to yield or make U-turns

Remember when conversation
Was like an exploration
Of each other’s worlds
As we shared our views
And pointed out sights not yet noticed
Delighting in our observations together

Remember when conversation
Was like a two-way road
Of exchanging words and ideas
Where two lone travelers
United in their travels
While discovering each other and ourselves

© 2017 Sarah Ritter. All Rights Reserved.

 

Photo: Map of Appalachian Trail, Massachusetts-Connecticut, Map 4, 2014
Photo Credit: Sarah Ritter 6/5/17

 

 

Let It Go

Stop holding your breath
Just let it go
You never know where fate
Will lead you to go

You say you swear
You’ve got a plan
At the end of the day, you know
It’s out of your hands

Even though you may have
All that you need
There’s just one more thing
To make you happy, you plead

Lying besides
The one you love in bed
Feeling exhausted
Just a little more time, you beg

No time for verbal words
Except those that flash across the screen
Intimate time is reduced to holding hands
As we each drift off into our dreams

Working towards the future
Too busy for the present
Grateful for what I have
While burying a seeding resentment

© 2017 Sarah Ritter. All Rights Reserved.

Good Bye 

Though I can’t even
Find the words to say why
I’m sorry
But it’s really time to say good bye
So I’m going to say this
One more time
I hope this time
I won’t regret it down the line
I’m promising myself
That I will stick to what I say
Even if it hurts
I shall not retreat back your way
So I’m giving up this hope
That I held of holding you
I’m going to follow through
With what I’ve always thought I should do
I can’t keep pushing away
The wrong things you have done
I just kept hoping that you were real
And I was the one
Maybe you are my dream man
In disguise
But I can’t tell what you are hiding
When I look in to your eyes
Even if you were everything
I was looking for
I know I can find someone
Who can give me more
So good-bye to you
I know I will miss you
But please don’t twist my words
Like you do
So thank you for the memories
And the fun times we shared
I am ready to face the future with out you
I’m no longer scared

© 2017 Sarah Ritter. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: Good Bye Note

Photo Credit: Sarah Ritter 5/26/17

 

Fight for Democracy

Wilson said “the world must be made safe for democracy”
His phrase was laced with irony
For every time I turn around
Someone else has been shot down
I’m living in a trench that’s five feet deep
There’s no bed to lie upon when I sleep
The rain transforms the trench into a river
In two feet of water, I stand and shiver
My clothes are soaked, but I have nothing else to wear
I hate the cramped conditions of trench warfare
There’s no difference between day and night
No matter what time it is, men still fight
I’m exhausted, so I pray for night to come
But I can’t sleep because of the racket of the guns
Every now and then I hear people cry out “mustard gas”
As quickly as I can, I scramble to put on my mask
I can’t breathe since the mask blocks half of my air
Next to me I hear someone cry out in despair
His hands fly right up to his throat
Trying to breathe, he begins to choke
Another victim now falls and dies
A solider who had fought by my side
His dog tag lies on the ground
He is now safe and sound
This soldier had fought to protect democracy
And now this brave solider will rest in peace

© 2017 Sarah Ritter. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: American Flag in Soil 05/25/17
Photo Credit: Sarah Ritter