20 Lines A Day

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She remembered when love was like a blanket. In the beginning, they were both wrapped tightly and snuggled in it. Their faces brushed so closely together that she could feel his breath upon her cheek.

Over time, things began to slowly change. She realized that although they were covered with the blanket’s warmth, now their faces were turned away from each other. It was more comfortable that way. But even when they were not facing each other, their bodies still touched. They often rubbed each other’s toes with their feet.

With the passage of more time, they began to pull at the blanket in order to find comfort.     

While sleeping, they would both take turns grabbing at it. He would become upset if she pushed it off and lay on top of it. She would wake up and find herself cold without a blanket nearby; then she would pull it back.

Eventually, they both adjusted. But she realized that neither of them found the blanket to be comfortable anymore.       

When it was time to leave, it felt to her as if all of the years of adjustment had caused the blanket to simply become a fabric. It required unraveling in order for her to leave. 

She began to pull apart all of the threads. She cried for each and every one. He did not show her that he was crying, too.    

When she pulled apart the last thread, she turned to leave. As she went through the door, she wrapped herself tightly with an imaginary blanket so the memory would sustain her.

© 2012 by Judy Unger, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com and 20 Lines A Day. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Ruby is Dead (Open Book Challenge)

At 17 she packed her bags and left her sleepy town
while her daughter laid in her crib…
and all she left behind were
a kiss on the forehead and a pair
of knitted booties with a monogram – Ruby…
She took the bus to Vegas
wanting to make it big…
pretending she’d never heard the cry
when she closed the door behind her…
time slipped by like a blur and
all she had to show for the years she was away
were bruises here and there –
souvenirs from the men who made her promises…
a broken heart and a tired soul…
And like the prodigal son
she returned to her sleepy town…
to find comfort…wanting redemption –
to cradle the daughter she left behind
only to be told “Ruby is dead. She died in her sleep.”







I wait every day for you to call,

just to know that you have thought of me,

have remembered I am still here,

in spite of the pain, the sorrow, the past.

I feel so relieved when you include me,

so special when we go somewhere, just us.

I guess, it seems selfish, but often, I dream

that its only me that was invited, included.

And my heart fills with disappointment

when I find out I was one of many.

Once, you were part of me-

I was the person you adored.

Letting go is hard, but moms have to.

Remember, as you move on,,

I am still here, waiting.




I feel the angst as it builds up in me.
This afternoon I cross a swirling sea
of an emotion I would rather hide.
My face drips with the many tears I’ve cried

about this situation that will not
be changed. The saber in my heart, white-hot
and constant, pierced its blade two years ago.
While I should be sky-high, I’ve fallen low,

and no, I cannot figure out the whys.
A deprivation makes my anger rise.
I’ve learned to keep this feeling under wraps
so I don’t fall down further in its traps.

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In My Quest For Self-Discovery…

So, enough with the heavy stuff. I wrote this piece this morning, but I don’t think it is cheating to use it here too, since I’ve written several things today, and this one is the better of the bunch. So…let’s ride…

Let’s talk about ancestors.

Obviously, we all have some. A friend of mine, about a year ago, set off on a personal quest

Mel Gibson as William Wallace wearing woad.

Mel Gibson as William Wallace wearing woad. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

to trace her lineage as far back as the written records would allow. Each time I would meet up with her, she would fascinate me with some tidbit of history that she’d uncovered in her family tree. Turns out Pocahontas made an appearance in her lineage!! Wow!

I was intrigued, but not enough to pay the $275+ it would take to join Ancestry.com and forge out on my own  path of self-discovery. Besides, even though I had heard my grandmother’s stories of our lineage, I was mildly positive that our ancestors would be boring and uninteresting. I mean, seriously. We can’t all be descended from kings and queens, can we? And I guess I didn’t want the proof that I was sure to find. My family was descended from the apes…ha, ha. Just kidding. Seeing if you were still with me… :-)

About this same time, I began to deal with the relationships in my life, and one that was sorely missing was my father. Without rehashing old history, here is the back-story in a nutshell. My mother divorced my father when I was 6-ish, and then spent my childhood hiding me and my brother from him. I met up with him after seeing him talking to a reporter about my aunt, who was being featured as a guest on the Sally Jesse Raphael Show. I know. I’m going to write that story next, and post it on 20 Lines A Day…It was surreal… But, then lost him again, over the years. Life just got busy, and he fell through the cracks.

So, returning to my story, I set out to find my dad again, and I needed some extra information. My dad is at war with The Man, and as such, he’s lived off the grid for most of his life. So, it took some major detective work on my part to locate him. And one of my tools was Ancestry.com. After I found him, and reconnected, I still had this membership to this genealogical site. And, as I wanted to get my money’s worth, I set out in my quest to find out the truth.

As with all my obsessive tendencies, I became enthralled. Every day, my kids had to hear of some nugget I had discovered, some interesting story of a relative I’d found hidden, and of course, all the famous people we were somewhat connected to. Their reactions were mildly interested, but I could feel their souls rolling their eyes…lol. God bless my long-suffering family!

And, as one will almost always do, I found some historical characters in my lineage. And as life also does, it was a cruel irony.

Mel Gibson‘s Braveheart has long been a favorite in this family. I suspect some of the attraction is that we’re a family of spiritual soldiers, and the entire premise of one man leading a group of people who will not be ruled, in a war against a corrupt, greedy king and his gay son, sparked by the murder of his beloved wife, with the added intrigue of wooing the soon-to-be-queen to fight for his cause — it just was too much to not love.. And every time that movie comes on, someone in this family is watching it. “I love ya…always have..”

But, the one gripe I’ve always had was that Robert the Bruce is a weak, ineffectual weasel of a man, who never seemed to be able to get on the right side of things at the right times. His leprous father had more balls than he did. I was no admirer of how the movie ended, either, with Robert the Bruce giving a luke-warm rally speech to his fellow Scotsmen – “You fought for Wallace. Now, fight for me!” Seriously?? I’ve heard better speeches in board meetings.

So, here’s the irony. Guess which royal lineage I have coursing through my veins. Who is my 26th Great Grandfather? ….Robert the Bruce. And that leprous, leaky old man who was his father? My 27th Great Grandfather. Yep. No William Wallace in this family…

I think I would have been happier to find a monkey…

— Bird

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Life hands out disappointments with a spade
and turns bright sunshine into darkest shade.
I don’t want you to know how much I cry,
but dreams I had sprout wings, take flight, and fly

to distant lands where I can’t travel. Nine
times out of ten I can’t have what is mine.
Yes, anger pokes the edges of my quilt,
unbalancing my world. Now all a-tilt,

I ask myself: Does this make any sense?
I can’t see clearly through the forest’s dense,
thick shadowed canopy. I carry bags
of sadness like a ragman carries rags.


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