NaPoWriMo – Day 24

Today’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt asked for an elegy, with a tinge of hope. My daughter’s provided the inspiration.

Elegy for a Ladybug

My daughters come in from the yard,
the younger one kneels by the door
her hands cupping something.
The older one digs in a drawer
for paper, scissors, tape and a marker
“What are you doing?” I ask.
“Making something important,” she replies.
They whisper together, then the older one
begins cutting and writing.

“Come here Mom,” they say
and I walk to their crouched figures
expecting a shout of Boo! or a giggle
or to see they’ve been up to something
sneaky but innocent.
Instead, my older daughter says,
“We’re going to say nice things about
this dead ladybug we found outside.”

There, on the floor, a ladybug husk,
its bold red muted to a brownish orange.
She’s taped to a paper, with the words
R.I. P. Ladybug, ? — 2018
scrawled on top in blue.
A plastic case set on top,
keeping her, like Snow White.

“She was pretty, and bright,” my young daughter begins.
“She was good at flying and crawling, and though
we don’t know how long she lived, she probably
had a nice life,” my older daughter says. “Your turn, Mom.”

I find my own mouth empty, at first,
my thoughts too full of gratitude for my girls,
but I meet their sweet and sombre tone,
“We wish we could have known her while she lived.”

My older daughter nods, gently picks up
the paper and the plastic case, sets it
on a cabinet, between a painting she made
and an overgrown spider plant.
“A nice place to rest,” she says.
Nature is safe in these small hands.

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NaPoWriMo – Day 11

Playing with the NaPoWriMo.net prompt asking for a “future” poem, and adding in the Poetic Asides call for a “warning” poem.

Theory of Relative Optimism

 

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Is it possible? That warning?

 

I’m no Einstein, but what if he was onto something

with that relativity business? No real difference

between the future and the past. Then, before.

Ahead, behind. To be, done. Imagine, remember.

 

Define hope: Noun — an expectation and desire

for a certain thing to happen. Verb — to want

something to be. To happen. Seems like

small magic. Wish, with your eyes

closed. Can you see it? In your mind?

That future dream, sketched with coloured

memories. It can happen. It’s happening.

It’s happened. Hope for it, again.

 

Define warning: Noun — a statement or event

indicating possible danger.  Verb — to give advance

notice. To caution. Seems like there’s reason to worry

What did you know and when did you know it?

Have you seen it happen, before or after?

That past mistake, italicized, set in bold,

highlighted in yellow. It was right there,

foresight. Hindsight. Look, I’m warning you.

 

But I really hope I’ll be wrong. I have been in the past.

November PAD – Day 28

Today’s prompt asked for a “love” or “anti-love” poem, or a mashup.

28.

It’s been a hard year to love. With every headline, a thickening of the skin, a shell forming around a once hopeful heart. So, necessity has invented new passions. Balms, for myself and my kids. Dance parties to pop songs I used to hate. More time reading — escaping into fairy lands, fantastic realms, places where the heroines discover the light, no matter how dark the journey. I look at old photos with new eyes. My cousin, gone now, but beaming then, so near the end. The radiant smile everyone mentions in their tributes. My baby niece smirking in her sleep, not just contentment, but happiness that she is here. Existence itself a marvel. A photo of my daughters on my sister’s lap, summer sun making them all squint. Determination engraved on their faces, like a monument to great change ahead.

 

 

November PAD – Day 25

Today’s prompt asked for a “remix” of another poem written during this month’s chapbook challenge. I chose my Day 5 poem, “self-destruct” and worked it over with a different beat.

25.

Are there reasons to be hopeful? The countdown on the self-destruct has sped up. We’re expecting the warning alarm any day. Tonight, after the ocean went quiet and all the music stopped in Helsinki, we listened for the siren in the distance. We listened between the worried mutterings of the people, and through the optimistic Eureka! of someone who thought he’d figured out how to bring hope back. You’re not listening hard enough,  he said, or you’ve forgotten how to do it right. Just put your ear here.  And he held a purring cat to a microphone. Those magic vibrations, right in the 20 to 140 Hz range. Reminding us there’s comfort, power in the smallest of affections.