NaPoWriMo, Day 2

Okay, I actually wrote two poems today, and I’m not really thrilled with either one, but for the sake of consistency and accountability, I’m putting them both up!

  1. MILK CARTON

One might suspect all poems

about missing persons to sound

the same after awhile–how

unexpected, the silhouette left behind

in a previously full life-scape.

How someone, somewhere cried,

maybe still cries, at that blankness.

 

Not blankness, but a question that deafens

and bends its curve to other questions

that penetrate, blunt and insidious

as a stage whisper: where are you?

 

Etan Patz was the first missing child

to appear on a milk carton,

his sandy-dark hair bowl cut

across his forehead.  How we looked

and looked at that photo, as if looking

were enough to materialize him.

Undo his last breath and add more.

The expiration date on the milk was weeks away.

 

2.  UNTITLED

“Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?  Can I handle the seasons of my life?”

— Stevie Nicks

 

We arrived with suddenness–

a crescent slice across the belly

after two days of waves felling me

was all it took to bring him.

 

Outside, the August air was thick enough

to gum the throat, the lungs.

Inside, a newborn cry as if there weren’t

air enough to satisfy nine months’ worth

of being lost at sea.

 

I was stitched to rights, an arts and crafts project,

and handed my son, my malcontent,

the next season.  The hospital window would not open

to yield a breeze, so we waited for September

to breathe again.

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