Sep 20

Understanding

You will not understand me
So don't begin to try
I am if the moon was square
And fish swam in the sky

Don't try to understand me
Please do not raise my heart
It will make it that much harder when
It has to break apart

You will not understand me
I can see that when you bawl
You still feel sorrow, still feel pain
I feel nothing at all

Your anger only bubbles
It doesn't boil, but brew
Mine scratches up inside my heart
It's claws are breaking through

Your laughter is so merry
So grounded and so bright
I laugh but my wings are unfurled
I'm ready to take flight

And when I speak I'm rhyming
My words do not make sense
When I'm trying to compliment
You tend to take offense

My jokes you see as tragedies
And my tragedies as songs
All my sins are amplified
And all my rights are wrongs

You won't ever understand me
Sep 08

Hourglass

She promises to remember him once the time has ticked away
Once the lights go dark
Once the clocks have stopped
When she can't recall today
And he swears to her that her shining eyes will never leave his mind
Once his hands are gnarled
Once his legs are weak
And his vision has gone blind
They promise to wear rings once the jewels are scratched and faded
Once the gold goes black
Once the band comes loose
Once their memories become shaded
They promise that they will stay as one once their bodies are gone
When their bones are dust
When their clothes are threads
Once the final line's been drawn 
 
Aug 15
poem challenge: Historical

The Ballad of Jessie Roe

Jessie had a hushed abortion, 1972
And though she didn't share it, all of the townspeople knew
She crept on down an alley, date silently arranged
And walked out in the same plaid dress, though something else had changed
She talked a little louder and stood a little taller
Though it wasn't gone, the cloud above her head was smaller
Even when hit with icy glares she never could get frozen
When the sheriff carted her away she got some throws in
Jessie told the other women what she was locked up for
They slipped quarters and cigarettes beneath her cell-block door
Jessie met with weeping ladies in various hushed places
While other inmates caused a fuss in predetermined spaces
The women walked out lighter, not just metaphorically
But no jailers could determine just why that might be 
They smiled a little brighter and skipped with their feet swinging
And when the constable demanded silence, they kept singing
Jul 18
poem challenge: Favorite

To the version of me who will become the mother of a daughter: Part 1

Infant
You will want to buy her pink baby clothes
And then you will want to buy her blue baby clothes because the pink guarantees less playtime focusing on fine motor skills
But why should you play into society's wants because you will raise a rebel, but even so your rebel needs fine motor skills, and around and around and around we go
Choose orange
You hate orange, you've hated orange since fourth grade
Dress her in orange
Let her become your orange
Let her become the sun
Kindergarten
When the boy's father won't step in because teasing means he likes her
Flood the playground with four year old girls
Let her lead her first rebellion, pull the stick out of her mouth and place it in her pudgy fist
First Grade
When she needs glasses and cries because only nerds have glasses
Buy a thick book on female inventors and read it between bath and bed
Jun 23
poem challenge: Writing 2022

My Son and Baby Birds

When my son asks for a BB gun for squirrels, I will hand him wildflower seeds and tell him that he will take care of the next baby bird that crashes into our window.

When that baby bird dies, because baby birds always do, I will kiss him and we will bury the body in an ornate carved wooden box, and he will never want for a BB gun again.

I will never let him cry without an embrace or climb a ladder without support, and when he hits people, I will cry. Because maybe I should have let him fall or hoisted him higher, but a mother always cries. And so I will pull myself together and spray my son with the bottle used for our plants and have him apologize and play.
Jun 22

To be a rabbit

I wait for a day where I am not seen as prey
I stitch this message into fuzz that wafts from my warren
Tuft floats away into the ether
A bird calls me back to the raccoon sniffing at my front door
Pointing fat grey fingers, barging in
"So you don't want to be a rabbit?"
My home is warm and cozy
My life is spent wandering meadows and eating fresh fruit
When I am tired, I sleep
When I am hungry, I eat
"I want to be a rabbit
But I do not want to be your prey"
The raccoon grumble-groans, beady eyes rolling towards the den's packed ceiling
"That isn't the way the world works
If you don't want to be prey
You are predator"
I don't want to hunt rabbits
To turn blind to the trembles that follow my footsteps
Sit with the other beasts of the wood and watch chickadees compete for our favor
I don't want to shed my paws for talons, my nibbling teeth for a sharp maw
"I don't want to be a predator
Jun 14

Pronounced

Little Red's basket lay discarded on the ground. Her bonnet twenty paces further, a slashing of cloak twenty paces after that. It was only natural that the village would pronounce her dead. Another year, another girl lost. Her family would mourn, yes, but the mother was young and the father was blessed with three sons, so they weren't heartbroken, just mildly peeved. 
 
Jun 08

What I wish to do when they tell me to smile more

To the man serving me hot chocolate while my dad is in the bathroom
I tip the jar of crusty pennies into his coffee and watch them sink to the bottom
As crumbs and pockets of cream rise from the depths to break the surface
To the construction workers on the side of the street when I'm walking to rehearsal
I walk through the wet cement in four inch heels
I will rinse them like Thetis rinsed Achilles and they will break the foundation again
And again
To the boy I tutor who thinks I don't notice him staring down my shirt
I snatch my fifteen dollars out of his pocket and walk out of the library doors 
Leave him to dry tears on the math exam we both knew he would fail


 
Jun 08

As good

Does the bird nest in the curve of the 's" 
Of the bright red Marshalls Home Goods billboard
And think
This is as good as my tree
Does the black bear climb the telephone pole
Clutch to the mass of wires and panels and thing
This
This is as good as my forest

Does the otter that slithers under the chain link
Towards the city pool in the dark of night
And paddle lazy circles in the chlorine, hunting dropped hairties and goggles
Think
This is as good as my river
 
Jun 08

In which I forgive him and the world keeps spinning

I am told he is sorry for yelling
First in time alone, then in trips to get frozen yogurt and movie tickets, and finally in whispered words
I forgive him and the world keeps spinning
I am told he is sorry for kicking the drywall and splintering the drywall and leaving a hole where more drywall should be
He patches up the tear with glue and flowers and spackle and a forehead kiss
I forgive him and the world keeps spinning
I am told he is sorry for grabbing my arm and leaving five purple bruises
I am told in tears on our dusty, drywall-covered floorboards and four star dinners at resturaunts neither of us can afford
I consider throwing my soup in his face, cursing his name, running to the police and pointing to the damage
But the world seems to slow, my salad fork drifts lightly off the table, I can hear my mother calling my name
So I forgive him and the world keeps spinning

Pages