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Day Seventeen #OctPoWriMo October 17, 2017

When I Say, “Me, Too”


When I say, “me, too”
don’t mansplain about how some women dress
go into anatomical detail about what shows and doesn’t
insinuate they are asking for it?
Do you know what “me, too” means?

No matter where a woman goes
She has to
decide when to meet eyes, and when not to
feel guilty if she wants to dress pretty
maneuver to keep out of reaching distance
avoid an elevator
an airport shuttle
the parking garage
listen for footsteps behind her
Do you?

You have a brain between those ears
someone taught you right from wrong
that brain can overrule hormones, you know

Do you remember Mom saying,
“Just because all the lemmings
are jumping over the cliff

doesn’t mean you have to join them”?

You don’t have to participate in lewd talk
body shaming
joke that her clothes are asking for it
touch what she does not want touched
require a bribe or payment for that job, that raise
assume her silence is consent

When a woman says, “me, too”
she may shake and cry
reach into the pain
she has tried to bury
remember the stranger, the babysitter,
the boyfriend, her brother, her uncle,
her father

When a woman says, “me, too”
she is your mother,
your sister, your grandmother
your wife, your daughter

don’t make a joke
don’t make excuses
don’t shift the blame

and if somehow my words cause you to
reach inside your dark places
and grasp your own uncomfortable recollection
then hold that dark memory up to sun
examine its razor edges
Its cancerous warts of excuse
place it on your alter
as a sacrifice

When I say, “me, too”
will you repudiate the perpetrator
stop making excuses?
Will there come a day when my daughter
or granddaughter won’t have to say,

“me, too?”

Day Sixteen #OctPoWriMo October 16, 2017


What I Fear Most


What I fear most

is a lack of collaboration

mind, body,

spirit, if it exists,

bowing out at different times

Dad did it right

sang me a song

the day before he died

mind still clear

walked and talked

and only lay down

to give us a heads up

it was time to say

so long

I fear being unable to

talk or walk

when my mind is sharp

unable to say,

I love you

Take care of each other

Feed the dog

Think I’ll die now

Or worse

to exist in forgetfulness

to grieve my missing mind

not knowing if the person who says

“I love you, Mom,” is really my child

or an imposter

to strike out in anger and frustration

at visitors who don’t want to be there

or the caretaker who changes my diaper

I fear wanting to die and being kept alive

I fear lingering until friends and family

members hate themselves for contemplating murder

I fear there will be no partner to pull the plug

What I fear most

is a lack of collaboration.

Day Fifteen #OctPoWriMo October 15, 2017


What to Say

Sometimes when you write a poem
it feels you are pulling your own entrails
out through your pen

Sometimes you are Loki or Robin Goodfellow
dancing through a meadow to discover
where you can stir up the most mischief

Sometimes you prepare compost
pick peel of banana, your own skin
crush the eggshells of hope in your palm
pulverize them with coffee grounds in today’s damp filter
anticipate sweet soil, nurtured green tendrils
of a perfect poem

But then, without warning,
banana peel, coffee grounds
crusted shells, putrid but unaltered
vomit from your pen,
and before you can stuff them back to ripen
someone says, “your poem reached my rawness.”

Sometimes when you write a poem
pain and tears exhaust you
but as you lie face down, empty
your poem peers up
complete on its page
crumpled and red
from when you used it
to staunch the blood

Then, if someone says, “I like your poem”
do you feel a fraud, an impotent imposter
and yearn to reply
“Oh, this old dress?”


Read your words again
restrain the excuses that fly
from brain to flighty fingers
smile to yourself
and just type

“thank you”

Day Fourteen #OctPoWriMo October 14, 2017


Prayer Flags


Sometimes my words

                       flap and flutter  like

                                         the prayer flags

                                                         above my deck

 Though torn and tattered

                       they prevail                and welcome the

                                     hummingbird  who

                                              rests on their ragged rope





Day Thirteen #OctPoWriMo October 13, 2017


Wayward Mind


When I wrote that sestina
it made me feel mean-ah
corralled by its intricate form
so I think I’ll write verse
that might make you feel worse
but will help me revert to my norm

I need a new pen
I’m fenced in again
and though it might sound quite polemic
I’m back to bad rhyme
it’s rebellion time
against poems that sound academic

Day Twelve #OctPoWriMo October 12, 2017 (Sestina?)


Sometimes I like to Imagine

Sometimes I like to imagine
a garden of infinite joy
a friend to share a stone bench and a cup of coffee
As tree leaves twinkle below the clouds
we listen to the sweet bass drone of a plane
birds sing their soprano music

Our voices join their music
and as flowers fall from the tree we imagine
colorful parachutes drifting from the soaring plane
butterflies dance with joy
swirl up to the clouds
our day scented by lavender and rich coffee

Ah the coffee
We lean back to savor it and the music
yearn to sleep on soft clouds
dare to imagine
releasing colorful parachutes of joy
from our benevolent plane

We gaze down from our plane
see ourselves, contented with our coffee
savoring the joy
the breeze and the birds’ mellow music
can you imagine
floating away on the clouds?

Will there always be new clouds
people on another plane
others that linger in the garden to imagine
while they chat over coffee
listen to nature’s music
relinquish themselves to joy?

Oh the joy
Deep blue sky and scudding clouds
Nature provides enchanted music
drone of plane
scent of coffee
When they see a plane what do birds imagine?

Sometimes I like to imagine we increase the world’s joy
as we sip our coffee below the clouds
watch the soaring plane, beguiled by the birds’ music

Day Eleven #OctPoWriMo October 11, 2017


Alexa, Play “Hall of the Mountain King.”

When it’s almost Halloween
want to dance
want to scream
start out barely tiptoeing
pretend that I’m a troll

Music starts so soft and slow
feet feel beat
arms just flow
Evil creatures down below
but I’m in control

Now we’re creatures of the night
moving fast
scary sight
feel the creepy dark delight
merging into one

Music’s faster, keep the beat
jump and leap
move your feet
breathing hard, can’t take the heat
but it’s too much fun

Heart is thumping, I won’t last
can’t keep up
way too fast



Scurry away before they catch you