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National Poetry Month . . . just write

April is a hard month for me to dodge. It moves fast and hits hard. It's my mom's birthday, as well as the anniversary of her death. It's Dad's birthday, too, and my half-sister's. It's the month my dear aunt, Becky, died. It's also the month I met my husband, and the month I married him, too. It's ripe with everything a writer needs. Love, loss, longing. April, for me, is feast and famine. Drought and deluge.

So when someone suggested a poem-a-day for National Poetry Month, I said "Why not?" It's been years since I've written poetry every day. This will be my April 2018 love song to life.

Here's yesterday's (day 1) and, as it follows, today's (day 2)


Day 1.

"This Poem Should Be Centered"

Avocado plaster.

These corners

smell of cobwebs.

The cracks would show

but for

our layers

and layers

of paint.

This poem should be centered

these walls should be silent.

My mother used bleach

and Pine Sol

and Murphy's Oil Soap.

Clean if not rich.

Smart if not privileged.

She wrang mops so hard -

like she was wringing out pride itself.

We can paint our walls.

We can wash our faces.

We can dress a turd in a goddamned tiara.

Someone may mistake us for the Queen.

This poem should be centered

and we should be

left justified.


Day 2.

Lucky to have a tablecloth.

Lucky for this spoon.

Lucky we bow our heads.

Lucky we waste not.

Lucky we want.

Cranberries left a bitter stain

and I felt guilty

pouring bleach

on our happiness

I felt guilty wanting to tell the truth.

My truth says

Nothing is enough.

I cannot fill this place.

I am an ingrate before the face of God.

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