It’s the penultimate day of Poetry Month! I think I say that every year on the 29th, mostly because “penultimate” is a fun word. Today’s #NaPoWriMo.net prompt asked for an “in the window” poem. Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. It could be your childhood neighbor’s workshop, or a window looking into an alien spaceship. Maybe a window looking into a witch’s gingerbread cottage, or Lord Nelson’s cabin aboard the H.M.S. Victory. What do you see? What’s going on? I decided to look into someplace both completely familiar and always a mystery to me.
I’ve said how I wished
a tiny window existed
just above your right ear,
under a flap of brown hair
that I could part
to peek inside,
so I could see them
forming and burrowing —
your great and terrible thoughts,
your swirling spectrum dreams,
the shy ones that slowly emerge
from shady corners —
but if you had such
a window, wouldn’t I too?
And however would I justify
keeping it permanently
Today’s prompt asked for a “love” or “anti-love” poem, or a mashup.
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.
The prompt today called for a “triangle” poem. My mind went to both geometric and romantic places.
I don’t want to believe in mystery. UFOs, Bigfoot, a certain magic triangle in the Atlantic Ocean that transports sailors and pilots to a different dimension. I don’t want to know the feeling of your open hand on my bare thigh, the pinch of your teeth on the back of my neck. I want to believe that drawing three lines in the sand will stop us from going any further. Creates borders we dare not cross, angles that let us see distinctions. There is a center, in even the most imperfect triangles. Vertex to midpoint, crossed and measured three ways. A place that is either a beginning or an end. A question or an answer. Something more than a vortex, sucking us down to somewhere.