it occurs to the poet that things around her are perishing


and so she writes a poem…

Things That Decided to Perish After You Left, and Why This Is a Good Thing

The summer fern rescued
from the bench by the lake,
dropping one round-tipped leaf
at a time from the inside out
until only brown skeleton
bones are left. You had a good run, fern.
I hardly knew you were dead,
so disguised was your decay.

The yellow daisies
forced to bloom
in the supermarket
thinly veiled
as still-life
on the kitchen table where now only three eat.
I draw ovals around your flowerhead
five-petaled thing that is its own fruit.
I can not get it right.
The painting goes unfinished,
the flowers bend and wilt,
sad dancers.

Tangerine molly
pretty fish family fish
plays well with others.
Born swimming, you trust the universe
to float you in a community where live-bearing bears fry.
Forgive our ignorance,
your arranged marriage to a red devil,
your eventual disappearance.

It is winter—
season of blanketing what is living
with what is great and white.
We are all prey.
The children are eaten by the school bus.
The heat eaten by ice.
The icicles jailing us remain dragon’s teeth.
When the children return
we will break the daggers with our hands
smash them on the snow-covered driveway
in celebration of what has been lost.


this started out as a list poem, but quickly chose its own path. * process note: last stanza could border on melancholy/trite/maudlin…how to make winter not a cliche? winter is its own cliche…


6 responses »

  1. As the Fugs once sang, “It’s an old cliche, but it’s an old cliche.” Interesting poem coming on the heels (another cliche) of last night’s event. I like the dragon of Winter image

  2. found your site through your twitter page.
    This poem is rather intriguing, hidden metaphor of feelings- the kind that mingle regret with growth. The things we missed as they were happening and the things gone that allow us to live.

    I liked this very much, will be back to read more when I can 🙂

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