All I wanted

I never wanted to be famous

I didn’t want to stand out,

but I knew these thoughts had relevance,

their torment stifling;

like a restrained shout.

I didn’t want my heart to beat so frantically;

or to dip so low in the cave of my 2yr old chest,

I just thought a father should want me-

but we all know, a child doesn’t know best?

I counted the days you were missing,

I wondered,  “was it cause I’m not sweet?”

I felt your absence in a near rhythmic way,

the way a drummer feels a beat

I just waited for you to find me….

For you to realize, yes I am quite sweet…

all I wanted was you to find me,

so that my world would be complete.

Goodbye Daddy

if you’d fished or golfed or wore a tie,
would it feel different to see you die?
instead you tinkered under the hood
and gave us that look
our only option
“be good!”
I can hear the sound as you spit bits of brown
from your Pall Mall
I can still see your Jammie pants
coming down the hall.
Some daddies took their daughters to a baseball game,
you took me to the junk yard
it was fun all the same.
if my elbows found their way on the table at a meal,
the silver ware jumped-then we got the manners schpiel
although you were gruff, mean; not the preferred “daddy type”
there was so much love just knowing
you were there, as we slept each night.

Greener Seas

An excerpt from YA Novel (In the works)

The Strait of Gibraltar had never crossed my mind before a few hours ago.    It should have.    The Iberian Peninsula marks two vastly immense bodies of water intermingling, I mean; it’s like Romeo and Juliet in the form of oceans.  The Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean; remarkably elusive, powerful bodies.  And then there is little old me.   Here I was floating on the boat deck, as innocent as a cheerio in a bowl of milk about to reach a place where they may not even eat cereal and I didn’t have a care in the world.   We’re all just people, and this is all just water?     I mean it it’s no Puget sound, it’s the Mediterranean Sea….. vastly sexier, saltier and heavier than the the Atlantic Ocean, submissive and shy, an ocean proper, like Ella Fitzgerald compared to Beethoven’s Fifth?    In people, just like in nature, one simply must lay down and take it like a…….less saltier,  less sexier entity?     There comes a time, one must accept it’s the weaker one, submission is inevitable.. naturally a power struggle ensues.  With Gibraltar-The struggle can even be seen by radar.  Individual undercurrents are real but we cannot see everything.    Looking closer to anything is very revealing.  By radar we see undercurrents, dominance, mystery it can leave us daydreaming idiots and forget the very real fact were headed to Northern Africa and we’re 18.    Taking a boat across the Strait was a bigger deal than I thought,  where the others lost confidence on the boat over, we all gained a greenish palour to our cheeks as they drained of blood when we stepped foot in Tangiers.  The Very moment they stamped our passport Arab Emirates should have clued us in- maybe we were in over our heads?

Soccer Mom

Nylon shorts, shoes that grab the turf,

Suited up or not, a team feels your worth;

with a perfect white stripe

Framing that still growing knee,

You’d think it’s plain for all to see?

A sport, a practice, what lives within, what needs free,

A lesson in play is for the child, not me!

It’s to tease out a serendipitous love, discover…..

Summon a romance…..a first mouthful, like a fresh summer peach,

but still there are some that don’t practice, they just preach,

“You pay fifty bucks when she finds the net?!”

Life’s not a gamble, on that you can bet?

You rob her when you fill her head and yours ”

Go ahead-tell yourself, “MY player is best”

But it’s messy when the ego bursts

…..or when you don’t pass life’s test?

We hear  it all…..

what you do and don’t say

And, it ain’t about you mom,

Sorry, not today.

I do More When I do more

The nuggets,

they are always there,

just need to stop,

pan for them,

slow down, inspect them,

respect them.

Perhaps you too are a gulper?

Show me, show us…how to sip more.

I simply must let you show me,

Ask even, cause, I don’t actually know how?

Please…  imbibe without me,

for me it’s quite a different thing,

the feel, the touch, the swirl, the flicker,

it’s always there,

flipped in the up position,


But, if I observe from a quiet corner,

honor truth, I am not you, nor will I ever be

but good will come of me.

I just do more, when I do more.

Every Other Wednesday

Some days I fiddle,

looking again for the white paper ticket,

some days I’m  merely going through motions,

knowing I won’t find it,

some days I direct with purpose,

I rub it between my fingers like a lucky coin,

knowing I’ll see it again later,

Some days that ticket is a symbol,

of how collected or uncollected I am inside.

On occasion I feel as solid as the very parking garage,

whose narrow paths I wind up, up, up forever,

like a mouse in search of Swiss cheese.

When I leave his office,

his quiet presence, affirming smile, his heavy silver pen scratching perhaps innocuously….

tender words nestle in,

Sometimes I’m instructed of things I must shake off,

remnants of hurt so visible you can brush it off like dandruff flakes.

Often good  rises to the surface like a swirl of cream on a bitter cup of coffee,

Every other Wednesday goes like this,

I clutch a red throw pillow or purposely make myself sit back,

into the leather of the couch

I trace and retrace the shape of his glasses

I admire the perfect sheen of his tie.

I empty my brain, purging it,

much like the contents of my purse

Sometimes my keys appear or a key to something.

Sometimes it’s painful,  like Monday morning after Dulcolax.

Still I end with a soft genuine smile from the parking attendant,

I hold the pay ticket almost as if it were hope,

and always stick it in the wrong way first,

Despite that I know better; its’ miraculous strip of magnetic information

that would boggle my mind if time allowed for such thoughts-

It goes to the right, always to the right.

The attendants tired eyes are warm

with a flicker of pain from some other life

the whites are weary and not so white,

like the brown of the middle leaked in.

Before Trump was in office he looked pained but happy,

I wonder what country he will be sent back to

and who will say goodbye in that same heartfelt way

every other Wednesday.

To Be continued

It’s sad that I cannot juggle more plates; as this site has become increasingly more meaningful and revered for me.  I pour my love here; all the love my teenagers toss back at me, it lands here! has evolved from a daily unedited blog rant, started from one night of insomnia to a network of refined techniques and profound discoveries of some extremely brilliant and diverse followers!

For the next few months I will be dedicating every comma, every characterization every tweet from my brain to my feet to my young adult novel!  It’s currently being called Queenie and Roscoe’s gift but we know how things morph and change.   My book is based on four Characters who have been planning a trip to Europe….. and Europe leads to Northern Africa somehow.  Their trip was a dream for years.  They had planned it in detail since Middle school and the one adult who urged them to go taught them more, it turns out, than simply the rules and secrets to some serious rounds of poker.

The four girls find themselves on many unforeseen adventures and while they thought they had packed everything, there are some things they simply couldn’t have prepared themselves for.   On a movie set in the middle of the desert, secrets are revealed.  The four friends learn something about each other and in turn they learn something even deeper about themselves. Upon their return from their overseas explorations they decide to take on one of the most powerful organizations in the United States, in order to help a true friend in need the turn her pain into action.

Stay Tuned or follow me on Twitter Lisa Behrens@theeotherlisa

Must I?

The task today was simple- Cook the kids breakfast, eggs in tortillas.  Pack the lunches.   Take the kids to school, write a little, pick up the kids, get milk at the store,  replace the missing small frying pan, help  with homework task; writing proverbs, “we need to write proverbs.”   My daughter says-“it’s too hard.”  “Huh?” I say,  not looking at her.   My thirteen year old just asked me for help?  My body freezes and my head lifts up from my desk.    That’s a first.    Are you listening mom?    ” They never ask for my help.  Why when I am feeling delicate, ill matched with the job, more reclusive in my thoughts that usual,  ,whey when the only ephihany for me today was, A mom on some days is translated as superhuman, miraculous, overqualified for the job, do today I translate as: “a middle aged nothing,”  why when I happily distracted by doing random google search: “celebrities that are sober? She asks me now?   Why? I don’t have it to bring?    Oh yeah, I am a mother.   This response “Oh honey, I am fresh out of proverbs” or  “I feel strangely alone.” Is simply not allowed.    Instead I shake like a wet dog trying to rid my melancholy. Wow, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes, sober  Coooooool!”        Yes, proverbs on courage, wow really?    Okay.   Well timed, I think..  I could use a whole list of proverbs on courage, I love proverbs.  I stop and google proverbs.  ” a pithy and short saying that is a profound statement of advice.   Hmmm.  I write one down “be sure and check in regularly with your feelings so as to avoid growing fangs?     Yes.   God, I am just not good at anything today.   I am just a chauffeur a chef, a punching bag…  I feel the fresh wounds of change.  Mainly since that helicopter with the Obama’s in it flew away.

My daughters expression says so much.    “I don’t think I handled today very well.”  Yeah I mean, a mom shouldn’t yell at a kid.  Shit.  I mean,  I didn’t?    I am so disgruntled inside I’m pretty sure, I didn’t take those pills for my “affliction.”   I sure didn’t take my calcium or I might be calm?   She’s right, I may have even yelled at the girl we carpool with I mean, did I really call her ungrateful?    Ugggh.  How do I peel off the sweaty boxing gloves and put on the glittery fairy wings now?

“I am sorry Greta.” I say out loud.    (I am practicing without the use of her real name.)  I should never have roped you into the ungrateful boat.   “I messed up and I’m sorry.”     Maybe next time, I just tell the kids I’m feeling sensitive?  My mom armor is in the shop getting shined?  The thing is, words are out there forever. And when I say and do the wrong thing It answers that question so many moms have so often  Do I really exist or am I invisible?  So,  Less coffee, more self care, more asking for compliments. Perfect, I have a plan. I’ll start tomorrow.   I will turn the light on when I choose a pair of underwear even, land it properly on my butt, not inside out, like my heart lately.

Too Late?

Things that are planned are usually birthed in the Spring.  I’ve noticed that extremely well organized people have babies always born in Spring.  Well laid plans have never been my strong suit.   Is it my Winter birth that forever follows me?     Winter is the death of Spring perhaps?        Maybe the death of something is truly the birth of another.  Still it’s Spring, I know because I barely leave the couch in Winter and today there is a bounce, a purposeful vigor about my every step, as if I am showing up to my first day on the job.      Today without knowing it, for better or worse the resurgence of a story  has been birthed, one that has been writing itself in my sub conscious,  finally to be resolved.        I can see budding crocus outside my door, just the green tips poking through the recently thawed earth.   The color of them a happy reminder of how powerfully perfect nature is.   I love the crocus, and planting them, putting this blonde chestnut of hope deep into the ground, once you’ve forgotten them they appear again.   I have forgotten what color I chose at the Nursery then my joy blooms double fold -they weren’t just limited to purple alone.  The petals shine with white stripes, delicately painted upwards, undecided, against the rules, I like that.       If I had time to check my calendar I’d see it was the last day in April.

On this day it wasn’t merely dirt the eager buds busted through; because so much happened to make the world so much bigger that day.  So much beckoned to slow me down and tell me “take notice.”     The very ground should’ve been worthy of new admiration, that place that started from many layers and earned the importance of being rich like earth not just soil that merely drops from one’s shoes.   I was even cleaning up my appearance that day which deserves fanfare; stripping off the old shirt that smelled like me, too much of me, all stretched into a bigger pattern of my body, my own form- the shirt with it’s creases, stretched and mis-shapen was not enough protection and comfort for later events, it hung loosely about me, like my soul that day.      I was racing, shoveling  spoonfuls of frosted Mini Wheats, thankfully the last they’d been opened the packaged was tightly sealed, I smiled at that, baby steps I thought….the rice milk dripping down my chin.   I was the classic under planner where time was concerned I always thought I had plenty.

On this day the birds chirped that much louder.   Noise, I was always sensitive to.  The sun wanted to shine, the air felt of desperation or so I thought, but the chirping was squawking and fighting, even the birds were quarreling , probably about why the sun couldn’t just shine today, just this once. April Showers……

And As I nervously twirled my hair and scooted across the street, flinging water spatters up the back of my jeans, I tried to avoid the eyes of the homeless men and women that dressed as men, dirty with their pretend gaze of hope, rattling a paper cup below their toothless smiles….I looked to the ground-  not today I thought.   Seconds later life teetered above me and the crushed metal and the sound of screeching rubber was all consuming,  young handsome faces,  were there three of them or were my eyes working properly?  They must be working I feel their input, stares,  mouthing words, “are you okay?” ” Can you hear me?” but the honesty and horror direct from there eyes deep into mine told the real story.

It was still up to me to stop hurrying.   I never did.    The ambulance slid around the corner sideways,  as if the frost had glazed the pavement like a doughnut just about to be dipped in coffee, it all changed.  The paper said speed was a factor-not ice.   She was so eager to get to the 6th floor,  to ride the old rickety elevator with the screen that pulled across and the carved metal and the clanking sounds that made you question whether to take the stairs today or risk not knowing.     When it hit her, silence, the world shut down, every one stopped dead, like a trendy moment on you tube; frozen mannequins.  The paramedics stepped out with stretchers and the beggars surrounded us too.   What spilled forth from her blood on the street made them gasp  and step back a moment.    There she lay amidst the pavement, the smell of urine no longer a concern,  her black velvet shoes pointed  at the shopping carts filled with sleeping bags and remnants of attempts at life.  They had  front row seat to even more sadness,  real sadness, hope never realized, a life once cradled in gentle caring hands, the  ring leader of drunken  vagrants pressed through the crowds that had assembled and peeled off his dirty overcoat, folding it to cushion her head from the hard wet pavement,  as if she were a tender thing.      When she bled onto the street words fell from her blood, leaked out of her, all over the pavement like the street were a blank TV screen with an early morning children’s program spilling the ABC’s.     Words released themselves looking to be caught like silvery jumping fish avoiding a net.    Visibly the words spilled as if straight from her veins, airplane, sandwich, heartbreak, guns,  Morocco, Retriever, author, philanthropist; dreams dashed when it appeared from the look of her skin and the sheen of her blonde hair there was so much time still?        Why an ambulance, why, why?!    That was mere frosting on a bitter, bitter cake, why was she rushing to her therapists that day and not to her publisher?