Naked Reflections The Shamelessly Sensual Blog

Lessons I Learned from Domestic Violence: Prompt 8 “No Visitors”

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San Bernardino School Shooting

Husband enters classroom

kills wife

and an 8-year old student

before killing himself.

I do not want visitors

while I am teaching.

We protect and serve

in classrooms

that are presumed safe.

Students should know

that no one would hurt them

inside of school.

Teachers settle arguments

and stop fights between students.

Teachers diffuse anger

and never tolerate bullying.

Teachers prepare lessons

group students for special help

and sit with individual children

who need that one-to-one time.

Karen Elaine Smith’s student

Jonathan Martinez

had Williams Syndrome

and probably spent many days

at his teacher’s side.

Karen Elaine Smith

did not have a chance

to protect herself or her students

but I believe Jonathan felt safe

as he ascended to heaven shortly after her

while she assuredly led the way.

Teachers and students don’t need visitors.

A surgeon does not receive visitors in the O.R.

Visitors are prohibited from approaching judges’ benches

Athletes don’t welcome visitors in the middle of a game.

But we who provide education

for students who seek careers

as doctors, judges and athletes

open our doors

open our arms

open our hearts

and give welcoming smiles

completely unaware that our visitors

may be armed

may be dangerous

may be ready to die.

How would the office staff know

that a visitor intends harm?

If someone needs to talk to the teacher

during instructional time

it should be forbidden

for the sake of the children’s learning time

and out of respect for the teacher’s time.

It should be forbidden

to interrupt protected classrooms

where students believe they are safe

where teachers leave their personal issues inside their homes

where unsettled family problems are locked outside the gates

and where life’s lessons

that children come to school to learn

won’t be nightmares of their classmates and teachers

shot in their safe zone

by a visitor.


Rest in Peace Karen Elaine Smith and Jonathan Martinez





Lessons I Learned from Teaching: Prompt 7 “ADHD, Gifted and Hungry”

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He comes to school late

almost every day

Moseys in with curved posture

under a hoodie covering uncombed hair

His backpack dangles on the back of his chair

it holds junk compared to others

packed with books and homework

Breakfast has already been served

but he’s hungry and glances at the table

where his tray of processed options begin to stiffen

He devours sweetened pancake-like dough

packaged pineapples and berry juice

while others read and write

He opens his tattered book

expecting to begin the day’s lessons

without a sharpened pencil

He raises his hand

to trade his dull pencil for my sharp one

we exchange pencils before engaging routine courtesies

while my eyes fight to conceal irritation

because 141 days of school have begun without readiness

His page is torn and smudged

like his backpack

like his hoodie

like his shoes

Holes in front from feet forging

heels breaking down the barriers of high-tops

until thread-bare socks graze the ground

Life moves in reverse

the way he backs out of his shoes

he writes yesterday’s answers

does not have today’s homework

saves Thursday’s fruit

for Friday’s snack

What will his future hold

if he never finishes anything he starts

if his feet never have room to grow

if his fingernails carry crud

if his hands never stop fidgeting

if his knees never stop bouncing

and his mind never breaks free?



Lessons I Will Share When She Falls in Love: Prompt 6 “Worthy”

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When she falls in love

I will tell her to accept and admire who he is today

Not who she wants him to become

I will tell her that he has to love her more

Than she could ever possibly love him

I will tell her that the sun will always set

But it can not bury lovers’ anger

I will tell her that if he won’t do something

She can’t make him want to

I will tell her if she seeks more than he does

She may find it alone

I will tell her how love changes over time

It will get old but it does not have to die

I will tell her how old love writes its own story

And young love is barely a poem

I will tell her that he has to be worthy of the kingdom

Otherwise she will be the queen alone on her throne.






Lessons I Learned from Friendships: Prompt 5 “Holes”

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Women friends

Soul sisters

Ever wonder

Who chooses

The path

We cross

Leading us

Various places

Shopping and

Eating and

Walking or

Jogging or

Laughing after

Yoga because

Sometimes we

Can’t bend.

Women friends

Soul sisters

Ever wonder

Why we

Don’t take

Advice and

We defend

Broken men

Who drill

Holes into

Our skin

Ripping apart

Lives that

Never mend.

Women friends

Soul sisters

Ever wonder

If we

Listen with

Our hearts

But the

Holes won’t

Hold truth

So we

Scatter it

Like crumbs.

Women friends

Soul sisters

Keep pouring

Your love

Giving encouragement

Sharing stories

And honoring

Our connectedness

And somewhere

In between

Us it

Becomes love.






Lessons I Learned from Parenting: Prompt 4 “Clenched fists”

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He did not have a male role model

that he wanted to emulate

a father who would love him


who would rescue and mend him

like a loving parent would

He craved his father’s approval

because that is what children do

but he never heard what he did right

and always how he was lazy and wrong

He grew up asking why

wondering why he fell short

why he never felt safe

and why he and his father

always walked away

with clenched fists.

Lessons I Learned on a Saturday: Prompt 3 “Falling in love with . . .”

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What happens when you fall in love

with a project?

You plan and search

for its vital parts

and commence construction.

Your desired outcome

its inner mechanisms

perfectly sync

with your vision.

As the project takes form

obstacles begin blocking


Pieces don’t fit.

Mixtures won’t blend.

Sparks don’t fly.

Like a scientist,

you try again

with a new approach

using the same materials.

But after repeated tests and trials

you determine your hypothesis

would never be true.

He was never meant

to be your project.

He was supposed to be

your man.

Fall in love with a person

not a project.


Lessons I Learned at Home: Prompt 2 “Resilience”

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Dear Mommie

I miss you

Wish you could be here

To hold me

Talk to me

Let me sit on your lap

Well, lie across it

And cry

While you gently caress my face

I miss your sweet touch

Its magic

Sometimes I want to scream

Instead I pray constantly

Knowing you and God hear

My every word

Even the unspoken ones

That seem to live on the edge

Of my lips

Thank you for reminding me

Through memories

That you loved everyone

No judgements

No exclusions

Thank you for reminding me

When I look at your picture

That a smile can cure sadness

Thank you for teaching me


And how obstacles are opportunities

And how struggles develop strength

And how love lives after loss

Lessons I Learned at School: Prompt 1 “Rehab”

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Yesterday a child asked

“What is rehab?”

Someone answered

“A place you go to

when you learn

to do something

you can’t do anymore.”

I added

“Like a hospital but for helping you

get strong enough to go back home.”

But what if home

is what makes her sick

What if her muscles atrophied

because of the words he used

every time he talked to her

What if her heart weakened

because of her addictions

to dysfunction

and crippling codependency

What if she didn’t want to walk again

or dance again

or try again

And she went home to rehab




DNR Because You’re Free (Happy 6th Heavenly Anniversary Mommie!)

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Another clear sunny morning

to begin the 6th Anniversary

of your Heavenly transition.

While spending quiet time

reminiscing through old photos

your plastic arm band fell out of a stack

and landed next to my hand.



Do not revive something,


even you

from unconsciousness or death.

When your final days drew near

your wish was to be free

to go

your time here was finished.


Live each day with focused purpose

without fear of failure

pursue that which God placed in you

And He will provide a way.

I hear you.

Love with all you’ve got

hug those who hurt

smile more

and laugh

as hard as you can

let your tears fall like rain

sing and dance to ease your pain.

I hear you.


Feel every breeze.

I’m with you.

Stand against the wind like trees.

I’ve got you.

Soak in the sunshine.

I’m next to you.

Jump in puddles.

I’ll catch you.


Learn to let go.

Be free.

Don’t revive the past.

Don’t revive pain.

Let go.


Because you’re FREE.

Before the Call

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Twelve days before Donna left

I recorded her

Listening to me read “Before You Go”

A poem I wrote for her

She smiled and asked me if I wrote it

She said it was beautiful

Her last words spoken to me.


Two days before Donna left

I held her hand

Kissed her forehead

And listened to her breathe

Rubbed her pretty little feet

Fancy pink-polished toes

I watched her eyes roam

Behind delicate lids

Like she witnessed life unfolding

Before leaving

I said I love you.


A few hours before Donna left

She slept soundly

I placed my hand on her head

And prayed for God

To keep her in His care

To guide her in to Heaven

In His total peace

I told Donna to relax in God’s presence

To know that everyone would be fine

I kissed my fingers

Touched them to her cheek

Held her arm

Knew the coolness

Was pulling all her earthly love

Closer to her heart

Where that sweet spirit

Would ascend

I said I love you

The corners of her lips quivered

She heard me

I tiptoed out

Knowing she was going.


Before Donna left

I prayed as I went to sleep

For Donna to have a peaceful passing

An hour later

The call.


My selfish sorrows of sadness

Loss and grief

Then a joy unexplainable

For her victory

For her courage

For her wings

Like little Shelby said,

“Donna made it.”