Once upon a time Damsels in distress A tower among the clouds The hero on a quest True love’s kiss In the dark a chittering of evil
Tell one more please Bedtime is princesses and knights Man eating giants and question filled trolls Fluffy stuffed bears and race car comforters Not for me My dreams were fed on other stories
Sharp knives and trip wires Snap of a branch Reading the signs How not to be seen Tracking legends urban Remember there is always one in the chamber
Concrete pillows and a blanket of moonlight The city’s glittering throat offered up to my touch Tracking ghosts, hunting hunters Armed with a backpack of wooden stakes Thwack! Even the dead tell stories.
Knowing you’d slip beyond the horizon, Still you cast your net for my silvery heart That laughed at romance’s silly clichés. A spy in the house of love Feet planted in the shifted sand, I was. How could you trick me with an unblemished shore? You held me under ceaseless waves Naked I washed upon our shoals, Driven and tossed
Driven and tossed Naked I washed upon our shoals. You held me under your ceaseless waves. How could you trick me with an unblemished shore? Feet planted on the shifted sand, I was A spy in the house of love That laughed at romance’s silly clichés. Still you cast your net for my silvery heart Knowing you’d slip beyond the horizon
Tell me bout the children Are the girls okay Let little Lucy know I would sew her Spring Fling gown if I could I wanted to rosebud pink with Swiss dots Spaghetti straps No don’t bring them here I want them to remember Meemaw like I was Like I’m supposed to be Don’t ask how I’m doin’
Did Bobby and Jack cover the hay From the summer rains Daddy’s gonna be mad if—that’s right some days it’s like he’s still here Even if you don’t love somebody They are still yours You are still theirs I never had a say in what happened to me Like an old tree growing with a fence You can’t break them part Without one being cut Don’t ask me about your father
Even in here I can smell the harvest It’s a warm sweetish smell Daddy and me would’ve been forty years Come October He done what he did And I never asked questions He’d slap me into next week if I did It’s not fair they blame me for what he done You know I would never hurt nobody What could I have done
My seed catalogs came today I turned the thin pages half the night Busting with Choices The papers say I should’ve known so many farm hands coming and going Always leaving their things behind Us never paying salaries and all I kept the books And my mouth shut Come spring they’ll move me from laundry to gardening I hope I’m not the kind that asks questions
Hushed explosions and rapid gunfire Leak out from the living room Rap rumbles Upstairs as heavy footed children tumble A frustrated dishwasher clatters While the comforter-laden washer lumbers towards a raucous freedom
Along a winding cobblestones of plots Behind a fortress of verses listening to the Voices chitter in the thicket of my keys
Bees offer honey far more than stings. Ginger green tea Hot and biting Comfort to my raw throat I sip. Warmth pools in my chilled chest My mug is not as heavy as I feel I’m no bee but I work and serve I hurt and sting I feed and provide I heal to be hurt again In a tight frenetic circle In a relentless loop
I empty my cup now cold Gulping down to the bitter dregs and wish for honey.
New home This lifeless sphere Made ours by blood, sweat, will Our children will range across the stars Endless
“Today’s writing prompt was to write an American Cinquain, a five line poem with the syllable structure 2-4-6-8-2, on connections. I suck at poems. My mind is walking through my last piece, New Sheriff in Town. This poem written by a crew member on the first colony ship to Enceladus, second moon of Saturn.