Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Unfinished Conversations

This week's poetry Thursday's totally optional prompt was to write about unfinished conversations.

My older son is fascinated by animals and animal behavior and has been reading a fantasy book series by Jane Lindskold in which "Royal" animals converse with human-like complexity using body language.

Since his favorite animals are wolves, this is a poem for him. I'm publishing it early as I'll be traveling all day Thursday.

Unfinished Conversations

I say, don't forget your rubber bands; you flash
me a silver-tracked smirk, the trademark
teenaged tongue stuck out between double
layers of elastic. I translate: Be safe, your reply,

mom, I'm not a baby. There is no failure
to communicate, only the language
of eyebrows, elaborate shrugs, no different
from conversations with ears and tails,

hackles and throaty snarls. We are pack.
Still submissive, you bare your throat and belly
for a little while longer. Your paws
eclipse mine, I trip over sneakers strewn

in your slipstream. You lope; awkward
stride lengthening as you pull ahead,
the distance increasing between us.
I wait for the full moon and howl.


  1. I love this poem. You float seamlessly back and forth between your son and the wolf metaphor. Each word is perfect, no extra words here! Langauge is lovely. Love "snarl." What a great word.

  2. Wonderfully visual, bringing an ordinary moment vividly to life.

  3. Worth reading more than once, L! I love this and am SO glad you pointed me toward Thursday's area.


  4. Some great phrases here:

    silver-tracked smirk
    sneakers strewn/in your slipstream

    Very cool poem!

  5. beautiful, beautiful...I love the image of the wolves and the "conversations with ears and tails"

  6. Beautiful. I love the use of "paws".

  7. I love it ... my daughter is 20 this Sunday, I recognise so much in it ... and if it's not recognition, then your poem is a very nice vehicle for memory.

    Thanks :)

  8. Lisa~ I love your poems about your sons. Having three myself I can really relate. This is wonderful work... wolves!! Perfect!
    take care~dale

  9. I am a mother of three young boys and they already snarl. Can't imagine the teenage teeth-bearing. thanks for the preview!