Days of 2007
It was the year my father didn't die,
his kidneys distilling precious drops
of fluid gold. The boys burrowed in their bunks
each night despite my dark imaginings, footage
of scowl-faced teens with acne
and AK-47s. The year my eldest understood
strength could be a weapon. Another
year I sought to put aside fear and failed. The year
my mother was still able to recite the names
of children and spouses, birthdays, anniversaries.
I tried to teach the dog to roll over, emptied
the guest room closet of suits long out of style, folded paper
thin dumplings in the shape of little boats. I counted
backwards from fifty. The number of years between
my husband's age and his mother's when her heart
stopped fit too easily on the fingers of one hand.
It was the year I worried about too much
good luck just before turning
an ankle on the front stoop. The year my children
dragged laundry baskets up and down
two long flights when stairways twisted
into the shape of an Escher print and I practiced
patience, patience, let them ball up socks
and shove shirts into the wrong drawers.
My selfish year. I hoarded
what I loved, counted blessings
like a miser counts his coin, greedy
and grasping for more.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
One of my goals for this year is to write poetry more regularly. One of the ways I can do that is to participate in the weekly challenges posted at Wildpoetry. So, I'm starting the year off with this piece, from the first challenge of '08.