i hate cliches like wearing my heart on my sleeve, as if somehow that much control would be possible

a heart
lives inside my tongue,
in my fingertips, pulses
through my pen
& i never know
what secret it will speak

just for the sake of singing it

& there i am,
left cleaning all that
unrepentant truth-telling
that can be messier
than a three-year-old
with fingerpaints
who has doodled your name
in smudges
over all the windows
in the house

just because
the sun striking those letters
will melt you, indelible & fused
into glass–no need to ask
who did it–
my fingerprints
are the evidence
spread over all this everything

in primary colors

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to i hate cliches like wearing my heart on my sleeve, as if somehow that much control would be possible

  1. nelle says:

    Messier than fingerpaint, whew. Yes.

    • :) and twice as much fun. I remember once when my daughter was around 3, she and her next-door-neighbor best friend painted each other head to toe, except the undie area–with fingerpaints outside. It was a blast to watch…

  2. jmgoyder says:

    When I was teaching poetry at the uni – I was always on at the students to avoid cliches – this would have been the perfect poem to illustrate. I love the way you write.

  3. unfetteredbs says:

    I second that.. I love the way you write woman. Seriously

  4. Trent Lewin says:

    Oh this one strikes a chord, and very well. Not a cliche to be found in this Susan, and I love the title to boot. I thank you for this.

  5. Now and again someone makes this work seem easy. Great poem.

  6. janehewey says:

    oh dear. it honestly sounds quite lovely.

  7. eulonia says:

    love, it, girl. love the child as an extension of one as both progeny and as a child-self, love the fingerprints and melting and colors. you become your lover.

  8. Bruce Ruston says:

    Very well spoken sometimes we don’t even bother to hide the evidence it is like a dare

  9. Green Speck says:

    So well written :-)

  10. brian miller says:

    messier than a three year old with fingerpaint, ha. surely truth and its telling can be that….and i like your fingerprints being all over it in the end as well…

  11. colors, images of youthfulness, zest and freshness subtly blended with some deep reflections – beautiful!

  12. jomul7 says:

    that first stanza about not knowing it will give you is how poetry and creative writing works for me. I also think cliches are lazy, even though I do speak in cliches but when I write, I stay away from them.
    Great title!

  13. For me, painting is a bit like going back into the deepest joys of childhood. And, I finally set up my mini-studio!

  14. This is especially delicious:

    & there i am,
    left cleaning all that
    unrepentant truth-telling
    that can be messier
    than a three-year-old
    with fingerpaints
    who has doodled your name
    in smudges
    over all the windows
    in the house

  15. always lleaving me plaintive.

  16. The sensibility is evident in your words

  17. In times like this, I don’t have the words to describe your poetry, Susan. :-)

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