Angela Grout, Author    

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Poetry & Stories

Advice from a Frog

Posted by angela.grout@comcast.net on August 13, 2019 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)
I adjusted my eyes to see exactly what I was imagining within the glow of the campfire. The reality of the two little eyes that were staring back at me was real. It was a frog. The little frog had hopped into the firepit and was shivering under a log. Attempting to move the flames away from him, I hoped he would jump out of the pit. He did not. I knew I could not stick my own hand in or I would be burnt, so I pondered what to do as he retracted further into the pit behind some cardboard. I told him to get out but his eyes just blinked at me. We stared at each other for a minute, then I quietly said a prayer that God's will be done, knowing whatever happened was not my fault. I could only do so much, it was just a frog. If it were a child, I obviously would grab the hose to extinguish the flame. I thought to myself, "Its just a frog. What am I suppose to do? I can't just extinguish this fire to save it. So many are enjoying the fire, roasting marshmallows and relaxing in front of it. Should I make a scene?" My mind repeated, "It is just a frog." Instantly I thought of Prince Charming...he was once a frog wasn't he? The story of the Frog and the Princess came to mind, and I imagined some girl losing her prince charming. I grabbed a stick and poked the cardboard sending it flying over the flames, the frog sat there again his eyes looking at me for a split second before he hopped away and out of the firepit. As he landed in the gravel below the rocks surrounding the flames, he paused again and turned his head at me and said, "I should have looked before I leaped into that pit. I assumed it was a safe place but it was too hot for me. I like to swim and splash in the water. Fire is no laughing matter, thank you for giving me room to move, to feel safe, and to live longer." I smiled and knew the truth of Dr. Suess's words, a person is a person no matter how small. One lucky prince is free and he made quite an impact on me.

Red Rose Reflection

Posted by angela.grout@comcast.net on August 8, 2019 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)
That man brought those flowers. Paid cash and asked to be anonymous. He was a friend. A friend of hers from high school. He knew she was an addict. He always found her attractive and would have liked to maintain a relationship with her but she chose the drugs over him. Heartbroken, he went on his way and had a successful life in all he did, but always felt like a failure for not being able to help her. Now he was helping, decorating her lonely memorial service with multiple floral designs. Her daughter wondered where they came from, as she sat alone in the room with her mother's ashes. Someone loved her mother besides just her, and the drug dealers and the drugs. The daughter mourned with the friends from the AA. Those friends witnessed her stand before them week after week announcing she was back on track, even though she hadn't had a successful weekend without a drink. She wanted to. She had good intentions. Each week she pleaded for her sobriety and addiction to be in control but it controlled her. She died in her sleep. Her daughter discovering her in the morning laying in her own vomit and covered with track marks. She passed away alone, leaving her only daughter more alone. At the memorial service, there were no words that could bring her back. There was no mentions of any love for her daughter. The flowers stared back at her as she questioned her mothers love and actions. Those drugs took her mother and now all that is left is an urn on the table with a photo of her selfie. And flowers, so many flowers. No card message accompanied these flowers. No sign of where they came from but the fragrance is amazing, and the colors so bright. The red roses burst with their color within the mix of lilies and carnations and snap dragons. Mom loved snap dragons, often stopping to admire the garden at our neighbors. She gave me a red rose once. It was my high school graduation day. I pressed that rose and now found myself reaching for the one next to her picture. There would be no burial. I can not afford that. She sits on my mantle. The rose dried next to her. Some nights I yell at her. Some nights I cry silently asking, "Why?" I don't know who my father is. I don't have any siblings. No cousins to call my own and well her parents just disowned us after I destroyed their house because I didn't want to live with them. I wanted to be with my mom. Mom made it right. She got me back. She got a job and taught me to work too. We split the rent. Now I am alone. I know I need a roommate because I don't want to be alone. There is this guy, he might want in, but I am afraid he wants more than just a room. But I am afraid and along, and broke with only this home. Mom placed her drink on that mantle and now all that is there is what the drinks didn't take of her. That is not the mother I want. Two years have passed and now I carry my own daughter within me, I know how much mom did love me. For over twelve years she did. Until that guy impressed with her more than drinks! My guy didn't impress me with a drink, he carefully created a shrine to place my mother in so that he could be thankful that she made me who I am. His arms welcomed me, and his knee asked for me. All of me. The lonely, the scared, the mad, and the scarred. And I felt his love growing inside of me and realized it was a part of me which was once a part of the goodness she was for me. Thank you mom for bringing me into this world. I am not mad at you for leaving, just the why and how. I understand your loneliness and I know you were never lonely when I was with you. Now I am without you, and I look at your shrine and pray for your love to shine down on us now. Then the stars on the Christmas tree twinkled with a glow that led my eyes to the picture tucked under the urn. I forgot it was there, I put it there on a dark angry night, refusing to look at that selfie. I called her selfish, but now I know it is me being selfish for not letting my love for her show. I lifted the urn, and hugged the photo. With a light kiss on her lips I leaned it on her remains. After the birth of my daughter, my husband brought me two gifts. One was a small portrait of mom that he commissioned a painter to paint. All framed and ready to sit in her shrine. The other was a red rose.

The Light in the Door (Prelude for the Okna)

Posted by angela.grout@comcast.net on May 16, 2016 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

There is a key that so many search for as if it has been hidden only for them to spend their life searching. But the reality is the key is there for everyone..only a few use it.

There is a door that so many see and wish for the key to unlock it, however in searching for the key, they forget to try the handle or just simply knock. If only they knock, it will open.

There is a window in the door that allows the light through for all to see. Some ignore the view, others put up a shade, and still others just peek with curiosity seeing what could be theirs if they open the door and venture in.

      What holds some back?

      What caused the freeze, the hesisitation, the lack of motivation?

       All they have to do is use the key they have always had.

       and when forgets they have a key, one is always provided...just knock and be welcomed.

            But they don't.

            They stare.

            They pause too long over their fears.

            There is a light that shines through.

            Tempting.

            Touching the heart.

            Telling us to move forward.

      And even with reassurance from the Heart, there is doubt.

Have No Doubt...this Door is for you.

Come in and you will see it has always been an open door. It will always be an open door.

      The key lives within you.

      The door is your fear.

      The light is the gift that awaits you.

Take it in, let out what isn't for you. You will know.  For the window is the key and you need not break glass to get in.

      This is not a drill.

      This is not a test.

      This is not an emergency.

      This is the Okna.

The Okna awaits to share some light for those most in need of God's mercy.

(This light...this light through the door's window is called the Okna.  The window is the key.)