survivor

This was the day
that marked summer for me,
wearing white shoes
and counting farm stands
selling strawberries
on the way home.

Now, I find respite in ritual
whether I am placing flags
or arranging geraniums
or counting from memory
how many guns were fired
the day we put you in the earth

Finally alone.

Posted in New Free Verse | 5 Comments

fragment

chasing feathers
as if they are more
than evidence of flight

and perhaps simply sky
falling again
heavy-bellied on roofs
and bowing branches

as if feathers and clouds
have something in common
besides air

and my appetite
for the absurd
is something bigger
than breath

Posted in New Free Verse | 5 Comments

50

I should be baking cake
or inflating black balloons
or making dinner plans

but there’s nothing to celebrate
that’s live

so I’ll give you this moment
of my should be doings

instead of this intolerable is.

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Baltimore

The difference
between riot and revolution
depends less on calculating the number of windows broken,
shots fired,
or naming and cataloging our dead.

The definition rises in smoke
from what’s burned
quantifiable only after
the burning.

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

If it were about cake

If this were about cake
and just that and fondant
with matching figures on top
pouring sugared acceptance
like libation into those small pans
I’d say buy another
somewhere else
and don’t demand it

but this cake is less rolled icing
and more symbol
which tastes bitter to some
as they bake it

and far sweeter
to simply eat.

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

For RA

in that model
he made of the universe
there was no room
for truth, only conjecture

temporary guesses
about what’s live in the space
between words
and metronomes pulse

ironic, how the man who didn’t believe anything
but had many suspicions
has the answers now

and isn’t talking

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , | 18 Comments

78 cents

I want those 22 cents per dollar
some man made more than me
for that precise thinking, for that same lifting,
for my exact educational level
and similar scrubbing–money lost
for every second of life worked

I want to be buried in pennies
so I know how much less weight
I was given, how much less force,
how much purchase power bled away
with menses and led to poverty of power

and then I want to spend those pennies,
not on makeup, or rent, or toothpaste, or chicken
at the store; not on car repairs
or nylons, or chewing gum

no, I want those 25 years of 22 cents per dollar
to go elsewhere, those combined pennies
spent on new glasses, so I can see clearly
past my own borders, into the lives
of  women and girls, who live
in parts of the world where
to be born female
is worse than a prison sentence,

where they are bought, sold, traded,
owned, murdered,maimed, secluded,
and devalued far more than 22 cents on a dollar
so I can raise my voice
to change something far more important
than 22 pennies

if I could just see it

***This is not to say that US women should not be concerned about equal pay, not at all.  I just want us to use this anger over inequity here as a force to effect change globally, where it is desperately needed.  Also, this figure has been disputed and spun every which way, and is now purportedly up to 70 cents on the dollar.

I don’t want to argue about the stats in here.  This is a rework of a poem from 2012 for today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, which asked us to write poetry somehow involving money.

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , | 6 Comments