Saturday, February 7, 2009

MOTHER BIRDS

I can't figure out if this poem is cheesy, sentimental, or (worst case scenario) both. Any opinions? I don't know where it came from. I sat down to write and knew it was going to have a robin's egg in it. That's about all.

MOTHER BIRDS

we used to lie on the alfalfa bales at night
just on the tipping edge of summer:
we were so young
property was still a loose concept
and all we wanted to do was name things.
my sense of direction was better than yours.
your memory was so thorough your neck ached.
my mother used to make your father
a casserole every friday night
even though she didn’t like him much.
she said you could call her auntie.
this was before you told me
I would grow up to be a murderer
if I kept up tightrope-walking
along strings of ants on the sidewalk.
it was before I saw you balance a robin’s egg
on the delicate bridge of your nose.
it was before I explained to you
how mother birds will abandon their babies
if they are tainted by the scent
of a strange animal.

Monday, February 2, 2009

MINE IS NOT THE BODY OF A GREEK GODDESS

Honestly, how many millions of blog entries begin with "it's late and I should be sleeping"? How dull! ...yet I am no exception.
It is late. And I should be sleeping. And my hair should not be so greasy, and I should be a bit prettier (just enough to stun others), and I should be finding a little peace in this wonderful symphony playing on the radio.
Instead I'm sitting up with my oh-so-shiny 'do, thinking about my belly. Which is why (I think) this poem bubbled to the surface tonight. Either that, or my reading Rachel Zucker's collection of poems in The Bad Wife Handbook has subconsciously inspired me.
Here's to my body! Here's to the columns holding up buildings over all the pretty ladies! :)


MINE IS NOT THE BODY OF A GREEK GODDESS

truly I am shaped more
like a corinthian column:
massive, yes, stable,
as if I might hold
a great stone above my head with ease.
I am a sturdy trunk of a woman,
a creature that bears both tragedy and children.
body of comfort.
never transformed but
evolved
from maiden,
with hair spraying upward
in leafy flips and perpetually wilting edges—something
that would become
a tree but has been made stiff as marble—
you are a sweet husband
padding from one room of the art museum to the other,
offering me your arm
grasping for memories of boyhood mythology lessons.
it is a talent of mine to tune you out
while I contemplate.
I am, yes, most definitely,
born of an oil painting and the myth
sprung from the pillowy brains
of an artist long dead.
I am there in that scene of Circe’s palace,
yes, watching the swine
but I am holding up the front step
robeless and without those blue eyes of hers;
I am here as well at Hera’s temple
waiting for a sacrifice I suppose
but I am balancing the altar, bloodstained
yet lacking a sense of wrath.
you are so endearingly daft
husband of mine
with your comments on perspective
hardly enough to disguise your lingering
over the breasts displayed in every Titian window.
you: my love, my roof, my clear sky,
you say you wish women were painted today
as they were then
so full and...full
the room rattling around my fiercest whisper
for the love of God honey focus on the architecture