Pulling another prompt two-for with Poetic Asides call for a “jealous” poem, and the NaPoWriMo suggestion to write a poem about “gifts and joy.”
On three hours of sleep
How jealous am I of the gifts a sunrise offers?
I’m green like the grass, wishing I could rise so triumphantly.
No birdsong in my croaky first words.
No glisten of dew around my puffy eyes.
Yet I awake to a home zinging with energy,
the rhythm of quick footsteps, uncontained giggles,
and a cat willing to exchange a nuzzle
for the sound of a can opening.
I’m envious of the Sunday morning slumberers,
shrouded in warm quilts and undisturbed dreams.
But I am here. Now. Doing. Experiencing.
Reminding myself that present is a wonderfully loaded word.
Today I combined the Poetic Asides prompt to use an artist’s name as a title, with my local Stroll of Poets prompt to make a “10 Things” poem. I’ve always been inspired by Monet’s art, and especially love the “Camille Monet et un enfant au jardin” painting (image below). As I’ve aged, I have come to see the painting differently than I once did.
10 things about Monet’s “Mother and Child”
It’s the flowers I always remember.
The beauty in shades of red, and all the white that suggests an ideal day.
The mother is Monet’s wife, Camille.
No one else appears in his paintings as often as Camille.
The Child is only identified as “Child.”
I imagine the texture of the grass, the feel of Camille’s dress, the softness of the child’s hair.
I wish I knew what book the child looks at.
I see my own mother in Camille, never attending to just one thing.
I stare at the faces of mother and child, obscured in indistinct brushstrokes.
I wonder why it’s the flowers I always remember.
Inside me she kicked
tiny, newly formed feet
firm against womb wall
and up into my ribs
when she floated
In bed, between us
she flings her legs in slumber
and doesn’t wake
when her feet hit our backs,
bellies, heads, when she ends up
We are too tired to protest.
Maddening at 3 a.m.
and forgivable by dawn
when we roll over and see her
suspended in half-smile
of contented sleep.
She kicks at her little sister
when fury hits
and then, later,
a boy on the playground
who threatens her sister.
She connects with soccer balls
easily now. Proud in new sneakers
that light up when she runs
alongside other girls
I worry about school.
Will she have it in her to quash
Stomp out frustration
over answers that don’t come easily?
She is a girl now.
And I know there will be
a lot of kicking left to do
before she is a woman.
When she is a woman.
Doors to kick.
Habits to kick.
Ideas to kick around
while she figures out
who she wants to be.
There will be kicks to the teeth
that rattle her for years.
And kicks in the ass
that help her move
when she’s stuck.
It’s kick or be kicked
at every stage.
And I want her to remember
as she is kicking the mud from her boots
that it will be a dirty, hard path.
But she has it,
the strong legs, strong heart, strong mind.
To get her through.