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Posts Tagged ‘poem 19’

You went to school in what passed for the inner city with the black kids, and Mexicans and maybe a few Greeks. But you were kids and you chased each other across the dangerous blacktop. The slides were hot metal and the monkey bars seemed to be made from old pipes. Often a child fell from the metal dome or from a ladder. You cried and you laughed. This is where you made best friends. This is where a boy wanted to hold your hand, sweaty from square dancing, and later you cried. Not everything made sense the way that math added up to 10, for ten fingers. The building was old and sometimes, during lunch, you answered the phone in the office.

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Letter to Poetry

Dear poetry, why so elusive? Like a dragonfly,

blown away by a tornado or a quail that runs away,

not that quickly, into the bushes. That’s how poetry

is, snake-like, more venomous than cuddly,

something I go out to mine, a hard nugget

of turquoise, but then avoid, a sudden

thunderstorm. Honestly, sometimes it

sends me inside. I want to stay hidden

Maybe under the covers. I like to nap.

But poetry doesn’t wait, it enters your dream

like an ex-lover, disguised in a mask and cap,

still wanting to stab you. Is that how it seems?

Sometimes, even in a dream, you have to expose

your skin to the knife, you have to surrender first,

you have to understand the pain. Poetry knows

what you crave, like a riverbed asking for thirst.

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