Thursday, April 23, 2009


Nation Poetry Month wraps up next week, and my email poetry class wrapped up yesterday--thank goodness, because it was getting a bit exhausting trying to keep up with the daily assignments. Which is kind of discouraging, because it means that any thoughts of trying to pursue any kind of higher education for real are totally koo-koo krazy. I do have friends who have kids and go to school full time and work and I have no flippin' idea how they do it. I'm imagining it involves a lot of coffee and very little sleep, and since I don't care for coffee, but I relish my shut-eye, that kind of life is most definitely not for me.

In any case, back to the poetry, I did manage to produce approximately 26 poems in six weeks, which is a lot, when you think about it. Most of them are not terribly good poems, but it's the process that's important, right? Below are the two poems I like best, both of which were written during the second week of class. After that I'm afraid I became a bit disengaged, partly due to going through a crazy stressful/depressed period back there in March (it really was just March in Maine--I'm much better now), partly because the assignments became increasingly abstract, which is super-hard for me, and partly I think, I just got kind of tired of writing poetry. In the end, though, I'm glad I took it; I learned a lot, and I think I'll continue to absorb the lessons over time. I definitely would say poetry is not my favorite medium, but I wanted to learn more about it and develop some skill in that area, and I'd like to pursue it more in the future, partly as a fun brain exercise, and partly because I think it could improve my prose writing.

So, anyhoo, here are my two poems (note the theme in both of them--is Motherhood the ONLY thing I can write about??)

First Practice

I glance up
from my book
slumped on the
hard corner of
the bleachers
to see bat smack
ball hit floor bounce
into the black
glove we brought
home less than
24 hours ago.
M---'s eyes,
meet mine,
my arm reaches
out, thumbs-up.
We leave the
gym into blue
sky day. Him,
ecstatic, me, terrified
my Saturdays will
be swallowed whole.


Rocking in the antique chair,
full-moon round belly,
she waits, and waits, and waits,
for what will come next,
pink-limbed crying baby.
She bundles him to her breast,
whispers, “Be still, be still.”
Limbs grow fat and long and strong,
search out sharp things, spill milk.
She breathes in deep and chants
a mantra in her head, “Be patient,
be patient.” Limbs keep growing,
and the tongue too. She endures
the screaming phase, the lying phase,
the backtalk phase, the never-stop-
talking phase, the gruff-and-grunt
phase. Endures also the broken
china, elbows everywhere, sweaty
socks and moldy sandwiches. And
then one day he's gone, and she paces
the floor, listlessly, picking up
broken matchbox car, putting down
old soccer trophy, the quiet
throbbing in her head. She settles
in the rocking chair, its old
wood creaking into the silence.

1 comment:

  1. I love both of these - especially the first. Yep. Swallowed whole.


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