A Poem

Photo by Stillness InMotion on Unsplash

In full chainmail armor
I feel like a robot
Like a soldier
Prepped for battle
En garde
With my needle-thin sword

In my mind
I am svelte, keen
Blending in
Like a ninja, unseen
Shadow walker
I'll emerge from the mist

My enemies can come at me
with Katanas, machetes, and chainsaws.
They are no match for my pointy stick
my fancy footwork
my sheer athletic prowess

But I wasn’t always this way
I sat on the floor
in the corner
with pillow shields
and safety goggles
Noise-canceling headphones
That couldn’t drown out the screams
in my own head


Photo by Kate Hliznitsova on Unsplash

When my grandson was born, I weaned off my medication. I moved from Minnesota to North Dakota for a year and lost my health insurance. I was helping my daughter while she was in school and the Adderall I was taking for my ADHD was making me feel irritable and I did not want that feeling around an infant. I was also on an antidepressant and meds for hypothyroidism. I had, and have, what I call “the trifecta,” ADHD, depression, and anxiety.

I loved helping with my grandson, but I felt isolated. The winter was long and icy in North…

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In all of 2020, I made exactly $33, and I joined in 2019. I’ve written about 2020 going down the tubes for me. I was trying to survive. I am glad to say 2021 has been a bit kinder. I am not getting rich, but it is still good to see improvement. In 2020 there was not a single month I made my $5 membership fee back. In each of the first three months of 2021, I have

January — $9

February — $14.86

March (as of the 29th) — $11.81

That’s over $35 — and there is still a…

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The old me is on the floor
Crumpled in a ball
Like discarded newspaper
Like a used napkin with something red
And it’s not clear if it is ketchup
Or blood

For too long there was nothing
But blood and tears,
Tears in my soul and heart
Devoid of motivation
Crushed by the weight of the clouds

But yesterday the sun set
In a purple orange sky
and a bruise vanished into the horizon

The morning came
with bluer skies and bird songs
and I woke to a better day

Gretchen Lee Bourquin obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature/Creative Writing…

Photo by Ashley Bean on Unsplash

You spread your arms out
Lean back and fall
And I catch you
Over and over
Each time you sail
Less hesitant, less resistant
To gravity and all its force

Sometimes it takes more than trust
to make the catch

And I learn this
as my arms go numb
and my muscles become gel,
and we both tumble in a pile

We each take turns
trying to be strong
weakness winning time and time again
until we stop the dance and try
to catch ourselves

Even bent and bruised and broken I still wish I had a net that could…

You are valuable. You are real. You are not a figment of anyone’s imagination.

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I have been writing for a while and those who pop in on my work, whether it is my poetry, an essay, a political piece, or something about mental health or the ADHD experience may be able to tell that I have had a hard time with my mental health.

After enduring the insurance runaround for months I finally was able to see a doctor that put me on ADHD and depression/anxiety medicine immediately. The medication is still building up in my system, but I’d say…

Photo by Phuong Tran on Unsplash

It took me until the end of 2020 to find Superstore, and here it is ending in a few days. For the first five of six seasons, the show starred America Ferrera as Amy the floor manager of the big box store Cloud 9 who eventually has an uncommon career trajectory that moves her up in a way most retail workers never see. Other major players in the show include

Cheyenne- Teen mom turned floor manager. Cheyenne married her high school sweetheart and there is talk of a spin-off about the young family.

Mateo- An undocumented immigrant, is in a…

a poem

Photo by Kwang Mathurosemontri on Unsplash

Just before the Ides of March
we’ll see an hour stolen
by a thief in the night

Most will be sleeping
some awake to see their lives
skip a beat between two and three a.m.
and the hour is held in the vault of time
until next harvest
when it’s returned

For the long winter
we have waited in the dark
craved light past dinner
of leisurely evening walks in the fresh spring air

How we have longed to move forward
to have the light eclipse the darkness
our playdate with the sun

Gretchen Lee Bourquin obtained a…

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Like a lot of Americans, I am pretty broke right now. The pandemic plays a role, but there are a lot of other factors too. With the check promised in early January, I keep checking to see if there is any progress in Congress. Yes, I realize the words “progress in Congress” feel like an oxymoron sometimes. There is debate over how many different forms of relief to add to the bill. Should there be an extra bonus for kids? Should it address minimum wage? Accessibility to Covid-19 testing and vaccination efforts? Unemployment bonuses or extensions? …

Gretchen Lee Bourquin

I’m a MN writer battling my demons & learning to celebrate angels. facebook.com/gretchenleewritermn/ twitter.com/gretchenlee instagram.com/gretchenleebourquin

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