Monday, August 12, 2013

Ode to the Front and Back Steps of a Day

It's the end of summer here in Northern California. That means slow, foggy mornings.  Now that we are used to the swollen days with little that we must do, the school year is pressing down upon us.  For this week we were assigned to write a poem that was an ode to what you aren't allowed to do.  For me, as I wrote this, the poem became no only what we aren't allowed to do, but more about what we leave unsaid about what we aren't allowed to do.  And the emotional residue that lingers from everything that is left unsaid about this. Here is my draft:
Ode to the Front and Back Steps of A Day

Ode to the gaps between firs unmended.
Ode to the hawks whose bodies stitch the seams between.

Ode to the hang of bored air. The locked door.
The wish to never look up from the screen.

Ode to the mother who locks her door while
her children both hands bang screaming MOMMY.

Ode to the mist that threads down valley.
Ode to the cars that whine and moan unseen up hill.

Ode to the hidden limestone creek  that lures
children to sink into her dark stone gut.

Ode to the old woman who yells at the kids who play there:
That’s private property! Ode to crawdads
that must still exist under all of this—

Ode to the new mom whose lost time’s orbit.

Ode to the anger that pulses under
the skin like a lost, unmapable river –

Ode to gravity and the foot to earth,
the push and pull of body forward toward
gap or fall, the whole day that can be revealed

when the fog lifts—Ode to believing it will.

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