Gah! This is my new favorite word. It expresses everything from frustration to utter meltdown. This latest poem for Carolee and Jill’s Summer Boot Camp has given me trouble from the start. The start, this being Monday, was a line from another poem–a borrowed line. The borrowed line itself * wound up not making it into the poem, but still, the poem begged to be written. This poem is also a response to Carolee’s latest which is a response to mine, which is a response to hers. Gah!
Even as I fiddled with it just now, I imagined tearing this poem apart at my writing group. My poet friends will help, I thought! And boy do I hope so. Still, I am in boot camp, and writing poems is what I do. So here it is…
* The borrowed line was “It was a bright inviting, freely formed…” from Medbh McGuckian’s “Painting by Moonlight”
Consider Your Daughters: A Zombie Fable
“I am considering them, silly woman! I would much rather their minds be engaged in the deadly arts than clouded with dreams of marriage and fortune, as your own so clearly is!”
p.– Mr. Bennet, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith
It was a bright evening, fully formed,
and the tip of the crescent moon snagged my sleeve.
When the moon, love-orb, reaches out for you
what can you do but surrender to its gold bidding.
I chained myself to the zombie on the lawn—
(the undead being all the rage in suburbia)
the best way, I imagined, to save what is almost extinct.
Time, I imagined, to harness a will of my own.
We strolled the neighborhood, a shocking trio:
zombie, refugee, lamp torn from the sky,
searching for love in suburbia’s illuminated windows.
On the maniacally manicured lawn next door, Zombie dropped
an ear, thinking the man sleeping with his weed trimmer
might like hearing what his pretty wife whispers each night.
From the home where hearts break like dishes, I slip
a little black dress from the clothesline. Relic from evenings
when the couple inside stepped out together, the A-line has hung
at half-mast since wife danced off husband’s floor for good.
Tangled in the trees, the moon slipped from my shoulder
disengaging slick as a hook from a fish’s mouth,
taking my shirt with it on its ascent. Ever the gentleman,
Zombie tore the skin from his chest, warmed me
with what used to be his heart. This could be love.
I wrap him in my black linen
pull the dress low to cover the chain binding our legs.
We are a secret team, the lives we save not our own.