POEM: a piece of writing that partakes of the nature of both speech and song, and that is usually rhythmical and metaphorical
Son’s school is hosting Poetry Night tonight. I love poems – from the silly to the sincere. Sometimes I try my hand at writing them. I’ve posted a few below for those of you who consider amateur night at an open mic a good time. For those of you who would rather have your fingernails removed, please check back in a day or two when I’m back to prose.
Mommy Needs a Sick Day
Mommy needs a sick day
That her contract doesn’t provide
I’m usually eager to see you
But today I want to hide.
I hear the pitter patter of your feet
You’re awake and coming near
From 1 to 10, how bad would it be
If I pretended I wasn’t here?
What I want more than anything
Is to stay under my covers
Perhaps you could canvass the neighborhood
Looking for a temporary mother.
No, that won’t work - they’ll call the cops.
So I gear up for what’s ahead
Breakfast, clothes and brushing teeth
Just as soon as I’m out of bed.
There is no rest for the weary
It’s time to face the day
My glands are ten times normal size
Can I submit for hazard pay?
No. There’s no extra compensation
For mothers with the flu
We still cook and clean and carpool
Because that’s what mothers do.
But, someday when I’m old and gray
The tables will be turned
I’ll be living in your basement
Collecting what I’ve earned.
Frost saw two roads diverge
in his yellow woods.
In my experience,
things are rarely so simple.
Life’s intersections are crowded.
Paths are rarely marked
with destinations and mileage.
The less traveled ways are lonely and overgrown.
They can be hard to see
unless you look closely
at the spaces between the brambles.
Adjacent paths that seem to head
the same direction
can end in vastly different vistas.
It only takes a few degrees difference in course at the onset
to result in great separation
after years of travel.
Seemingly small choices:
alone or together
today or tomorrow
speak or bite tongue
intervene or look away
full disclosure or embellishment
If someday I wander Frost’s yellow wood
and am forced to choose between two diverging paths
I will savor the simplicity of that moment.
Sir Mix-A-Lot Does the Laundry
I like matched socks and I cannot lie
You other mothers can’t deny
When the laundry is done
And you’re down by one
You get miffed.
You’ve had enough
Where did that sock get stuffed?
You’ve looked low and high and higher
Took a second glance in the dryer
Checked the pockets of the jeans you’re wearing
You’re mad and begin swearing
Other mothers tried to warn me
But those little socks can be so ornery
I read in Little MissMatched magazine
That unmatched socks are the thing
But, take the average mom and ask her that
She’ll tell you that look is not yet back
So, Mamas! (Yeah!) Mamas! (Yeah!)
Are you missing lots of socks? (Hell yeah!)
Take your clothes and shake ‘em! (Shake ‘em!)
Shake ‘em! (Shake ‘em!)
Shake them ‘till they drop
Baby’s got socks!
The first moments of waking are the hardest
In those moments it is easy to forget
Who I am
Where I am
Those first moments are pregnant with possibilities
The other places I could be waking
The other lives I could be living
The other labels I could be wearing
I blink and find my place
Feet on the floor
Maker of breakfast
Folder of laundry
Packer of lunches
Unremarkable but satisfied
The Poet’s Pen
Held tightly by determined fingers
Fulfilling a higher purpose than could be conceived
By those who assembled your parts
You are simple
Without metallic flourish or substantial weight
And yet, your product is of great value
Your colleagues use their power to transfer funds
They remind housewives to buy sugar
But you, you use your power to change lives
To profess love
To capture grief
To freeze the sun and stop the wind
You are plain
You provide a window to a stranger’s soul
Vision for the blind
A voice for previously mute insights
You are a spotlight shining on the human condition
You reveal the details
Without you, melodies and cadence would remain shackled
Take pride in your work
The most elegant of your peers could not do better