Posts Tagged ‘growing-up



in the Dark
at the back of the cupboard I found
a Potato you left behind
when you left me to clean up your mess
when you left me

it was small and soft, a little shriveled,
its Heart was Dark like yours mother.

(Women and vegetables rot from the inside,
you said, and who would know better than you?)
the sprouts were thin and white
fragile as frostbitten fingers
fragile as the feelers of a cockroach

sniffing for danger and probing for food
as you probed, looking for soft spots,
for openings in my hard upper layers,
places for your cuttings to sprout and not heal.

Think for yourself, you said, but
How? With your words wrapped
around my thoughts–
tentacles of an octopus Mother.
you– made me a vacuum, sucking up
Crumbs of Affection
from whomever might drop them.
now you’re gone and a

vacuum remains pulling me apart like cobwebs,
a dandelion when it’s gone to seed,
a Potato, unpierced by love, left in the microwave

Until it explodes.

(The “assignment” was to write a poem in the manner of Sylvia Plath. I’m not fond of most of her poetry because it’s so dark and melodramatic but here’s my best shot. It’s also my first draft so feel free to make constructive comments.)


No Mozart I

Old enough now to
Face the truth: I’ll never be
A child prodigy.


Cornflower Blue

When she opened the box we were her favorites-
Cornflower Blue and Indian Red.
Together we made summer skies and meadows,
Blue baby doll eyes, teddy bears, and hay-filled barns.
Other colors came along and she tried them-
Macaroni and Cheese, Tumbleweed, Tickle Me Pink-
But we were the ones she carried in her pocket
After carefully honing our points with the sharpener in the back of the box.
In ’99 old Indian Red was replaced with Chestnut.
Thistle and Maize went away; their colors and names were too dull.
I’ve hung around as long as I could
Although she peeled off the last of my label several years ago.
Today I got rolled off the table and stepped on.
My pieces were ground into the classroom rug.
Through the window I can see a patch of the sky
She used to think I was the color of.


Teacher Becomes The Student

side by side tandem
bike, wide quiet street, all things
equal; dependent
on her special needs daughter,
mom finds the tables are turned.


Night Shift

As I pause in the doorway of their bedroom,
I can see the moonlight filtering through the blinds,
Shining in the Vick’s Vapo-Rub on Mom’s top lip.
I don’t want to disturb the cat or wake Mom up;
She got so little sleep last night I’m surprised
She made it all the way into her nightgown and bed
Before she was down for the count. The Vick’s
Seems to have helped a little; She’s still congested but
At least she’s snoring now and if she’s snoring then
She’s sleeping and breathing and that’s all I
Wanted to know. I just wanted to check on her.
And that’s why I’m standing here in the doorway,
In the moonlit darkness, where she used to stand
All those nights years ago to check on me.



I’m taking the bus home this afternoon and I want you to be there early.
No, seriously. There’s no reason you can’t be there at least by 2:30.
So, when the big hand starts creeping around you need to just drop
Whatever you’re working on and drive down to the bus stop.
I look stupid if I’m standing there long after the bus
Has left. Get there early, please, so we don’t have the same kind of fuss
As yesterday. Of course, we might get enough people to practice; that’d be great
Because we have a tournament tomorrow. So I might be too late
For the bus. And if it’s sunny then I may just walk
Up the hill anyway. If I see Justine, I need to grab her because we need to talk
About the party this weekend. I had such a good time Saturday when I went to John Wu’s.
I think this is another party for someone’s birthday. I don’t remember whose
And, of course, their birthday has already passed.
But who is it? I’ll ask Justine. Maybe someone in our English class.
But probably I’ll be on the bus. So please be there on time. I hate looking like the last mangey pup
In the basket who nobody wants. And if I’m not there, you can just drive out to school and pick me up.


Mommy, The Elephant Looks Just Like You

There are ointments to treat thin eyelashes,
Inhalers if dust makes you cough and wheeze,
But there’s nothing a doctor
Can do if you suffer
From baggy loose skin on your knees.

You can’t get an adipose injection
Or a quick tuck of the patellar skin;
The fat can migrate
And the slack cinched up tight
Will just bag out again when you bend.

Buy colorful leggings, black tights, long skirts-
In winter do all you can to hide them.
Come summer, my dear,
Resign yourself to bare
The knees of an eighty year old man.