Thank You, Oddball Magazine!

Happy email today … An acceptance from Oddball Magazine for a poem I wrote about last year’s election night. It’s in a special Trump issue that just came out a few hours ago. Check it out! (Right column … and I like the art pairing, too).

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Repeating Nightmares of Caretaking

In night terrors, there are monarchs I could still save
(if only I get up out of bed) from my own forgetting.
A butterfly being eaten by a praying mantis on my nightstand,
the other night, or fat caterpillars drowning in a jar of water.
Last night, it was my own hands, falling off at last because of
milkweed poisoning, not just asleep because I sleep on them.
My mother used to have, many times, dreams about
an impossibly tiny baby, palm-sized, say — the baby belonged to her,
but she had forgotten, hadn’t fed it or bathed it in weeks.
My mother’s mother probably didn’t have night terrors or
repeating nightmares of caretaking; she was stoic and only wanted
that the world not destroy itself in war. Toward herself, she was
calm. A generation back was more fretful; my mother’s mother’s mother
taking to her couch with mysterious ailments. Fears. Later, in Florida,
she made people out of seashells, little ones, or seashell flowers and shoes.
I don’t know where they are now, and it bothers me. Did she dream about
her shell people, her shell jewels, lost and turning into sand?
These tiny things we invite in, we invite all the way in, some of us.

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Formatting note: WordPress is not kind to long-line poets. Where you see weird breaks at the end, it’s because I’m over the maximum width.

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Least Moon Pocket

I once kicked a man in the
arugula
for less than what you’re doing now.
I wouldn’t mess with me, if I were you,
after a long summer of wounding
and being wounded.
The moon unwinds sometimes
and reveals the sun,
which it has hidden in its
least pocket.
I have a least moon pocket
designated for you.

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Hello, again … I raised and released 380 monarch butterflies (so far) this summer and did all this other stuff, while trying to work with two kids at home. I hope to get back to writing, even though no one cares if I do or I don’t, I’m totally stalled out while *everyone else* is getting their first or second book published, blah blah blah … (I’m joking, but seriously, I don’t know anymore what to do.)

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Fireball

It’s OK. Life gets complicated. I’m tired, too,
I beamed, mentally, at the ladies in line ahead of me
at our golden bank. But we never did make a connection
as they argued about finances and health, both poor.
Life collapses sometimes, and all of us can break —
last night, I watched (over and over) a YouTube video
in which a ride at the Ohio State Fair comes apart.
What message in the arms and legs flailing against sky?
Replay, replay, replay the moment before a human
realizes — just before he hits the ground.

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Lawn Meadow

At first it looked like a grave
a patch of dirt
with a single red flower
in the middle of your lawn
but lately it has become
a rectangular meadow,
and I see cosmos
(Sensation and Bright Lights)
poppies (the little kind,
not the ones that are like
small dogs)
larkspur or bachelor’s button
something blue
and a drift of white
which I would say is
Queen Anne’s lace, but
no one plants that on purpose.

Did you send off for
the packet of wildflower seeds
from Cheerios?
Some people said that was
ill-advised, greenwashing,
and that a California poppy
growing in Illinois
is not really a wildflower.

But then, I’m an interloper, too;
your meadow cheers me
from the middle of your lawn,
and I think of you
uprooting a patch of grass,
wondering what would happen,

I know this:
It’s an act of courage
every time you plant seeds
to attract bees.

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