Category Archives: self description

Dress-up Soldier

I have been a wife, twice.
and I have worn
both husbands’ clothes,

But the frayed, gray
army sweatpants, brown
T-shirts, faded
cammies & spit-
shined boots –
those are mine.

Or were. They are rags
gone to memory now.
Still …

Battle dress is different;
not like normal clothes.
It cannot be borrowed,
or assumed,
or appropriated.

Uniforms can only be earned.

Please do not wear
that outfit

if you, yourself, have
not broken in the boots.

(Camouflage isn’t comfortable,
and gods know
it isn’t cute.)

But it means something
that is not

by Karen M. Seeley,
copyright 2014


Traits and Training: Observations of Modern Life

Self-selection: “Spies in the blood,” or the mysteries of attraction?

So let’s talk about what we see and hear. It’ll be fun. And we can begin with couples:

Most couples are striking for one of two things: their similarities or their contrasts. Some, particularly in long-term couples, are notable for both. There are times when I think my ex and I are like that – both radically alike and startlingly different. It gives one to pause, as my grandmother might have said.

What are the polarities that unite and/or separate couples? They are many: physical, mental, and spiritual factors all have bearing. Age, background, gender, looks and money are just some of the dividing lines that can join or separate us.

To be continued …


Fooling Around, part one

I’m a bookworm – reading was my first addiction and remains my drug of choice. So when the now-ex made a particular book-related suggestion — “Let’s get rid of all the books” — I felt like Cuba during the missile crisis.

This was before we decided once and for all to dismantle the unibrain, back while we were toying with downsizing to tiny-house living and staying together.

It’s a slight exaggeration, more of a minor embellishment, to say that books are my primary and often only luxury, and I am death on dog-earing and dote on dust jackets. Books are Important in my house, wherever that house is.

But my guys, even when they’ve been readers – and “my guys” basically means about five real relationships, so not a broad sample there – are down on my books. One who never made the “real relationship” category – sorry, Dave – told me once that reading was antisocial.

It’s not, but it’s adulterous. Good reading is flat-out cheating on your significant other, and it’s perfectly acceptable. You can sit or even stand there fully clothed, motionless and silent, and have your brain obscenely entwined with another’s naked thoughts. Pure sin.

So I kept the books, and gave them all a thorough but gentle cleaning before the move. I sit surrounded by them now, and I feel at home. And loved, and sinful.

It’s a good day.

Triptych [smallpox blanket]

Three little girls lined up in
A row. Their father
Towers in terrible wrath.

“Did you do it?
Or you?
Or you?”

The girls, near-mute,
Look sideways at
Each other. Who

Did it this time?

“Swear on the Bible.
Put your right hand
On the book,
And swear.”

We all swore
Our innocence
Though one of
Us was always
Lying – usually
The youngest
Difficult child.

But we all knew
What would follow
The lie. One by
One, the girls
Were ordered
Face down –
The oldest sister had her
Own room, so
Her bed was most convenient—
For their beatings.

But everyone
Was fully clothed,
So it was decent
And the neighbors
Could safely
Ignore the screams.

I always screamed loudest too.

See, he wanted
Sons, so
I became his son
And fought him back.

Yes, I broke the comb.
Yes, I was playing
With your shaving cream
In the bathroom
Where you keep
The Playboy magazines.

Of course I need a beating. And sorry,
Sisters, I’m just too scared
To confess.

by Karen M. Seeley,
copyright 2014


This one’s about 4 years old.


I sleep in our king-sized bed,
And you in the sub-basement storage room.
I envy you your happiness
As you laptop with friends and lovers.
Father, job and self-respect
I carelessly misplaced.
Finally my losing streak’s complete,
My hands grasp negative space.
Lover, husband, partner, friend,
All these men are gone.
A polite and distant stranger
Lives behind your door.
You assure me it’s all my doing,
While checking your phone for texts.
Our near-15 years together folds:
Full house, Facebook chats.

Tags: same old story spilled ink don’t take four years to break up