I found these gems lying dormant in a crowded folder marked “Poetry,” as every folder should be. I wrote them in an attempt to catch up from April 5 to April 11 just before giving up to charge head first at the two book manuscripts I’m working on–you know, because if you can’t pick your pony, you’d better just ride them both at once and hope for the best. This is the bumper sticker that brands and advertises my universe.
So, here they are. Enjoy.
April 5: E.E. Cummings
A Writerly Mama’s Wish
for my children’s honorary literary godfather E.E. Cummings
When my children’s lives
stop like clocks ticked out from the time
they marked with their small hands.
I will hold these hopes in mine—
that they trade in toys for words,
playing for keeps with sentences
lined up like army men on laundry baskets,
that they mark new time with stanzas
syntax set for high tea with Easter hat hyperbole,
fine lace beneath each cup to counter the cacophonic world.
As they pick up desk phones,
let them feel tin cans in their fingers,
the vibration on the string.
Let them see staff paper in place
of watermarks on legal papers,
suspect invisible ink between the lines.
Let them hold everything
up to the light.
April 6: Adrienne Rich
for Adrienne Rich
Behind her polite voice,
like a thigh-high
I heard barbs surface belly up,
spun into spiral metal at the top,
occasional razors around each bend,
the perfect marriage:
an honest promise,
a clear threat.