pixkris: Wedding Day Smiles (writing)
I had to share this poem I got from Writer's Almanac this morning. "It is safe to assume, / given my fireside inked with paw prints, / there would have been room" is my new favorite line ever.

Poem: "Nurture" by Maxine W. Kumin, from Selected Poems 1960-1990. © W.W. Norton & Company, 1989.


From a documentary on marsupials I learn
that a pillowcase makes a fine
substitute pouch for an orphaned kangaroo.

I am drawn to such dramas of animal rescue.
They are warm in the throat. I suffer, the critic proclaims,
from an overabundance of maternal genes.

Bring me your fallen fledgling, your bummer lamb,

lead the abused, the starvelings, into my barn.
Advise the hunted deer to leap into my corn.

And had there been a wild child–
filthy and fierce as a ferret, he is called
in one nineteenth-century account–

a wild child to love, it is safe to assume,
given my fireside inked with paw prints,
there would have been room.

Think of the language we two, same and not-same,
might have constructed from sign,
scratch, grimace, grunt, vowel:

Laughter our first noun, and our long verb, howl.

pixkris: Wedding Day Smiles (Buffy Stake)
As a follow-up to my last post, I would like to share a Rachel McKibbens' poem, which was featured in the online political journal The November 3rd Club. It is one of the most powerfully evocative poems I have ever read, bar none.

After a Magazine Named Elizabeth Smart
One of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World

Rachel McKibbens

Never mind Keisha with the mud in her mouth,
or Sarah, face-down in the pond. Forget the man
who chose his daughter’s coffin dress, or the woman
who sank to the floor as they closed the lid.

Though you came home changed,
wearing your body like a picked lock,
face, plump as a newlywed, your tongue smothered
in survival and strange prayer—
it was good enough.

And now truth sits in your stomach, a cold brass knob.
Like every damaged girl, you are full of things
no one wants to hear. Instead, we pin your airbrushed face
over headboards. Pray our daughters become centerfolds,
resist daylight, learn the harp, line bookshelves
with secrets like snakes in jars.

Elizabeth, you are proof
that God will always do what he wants,
white girls achieve perfection when they vanish
and America will love you more for your silence.

So when you are overheard
whispering to ducks hung from hooks in Chinatown,
we’ll believe you were only hungry.

When you marry an old man
who locks you in a dollhouse, spoon feeds you pearls,
we will call him wise.

And we will not flinch when your firstborn child
seen squirming in your arms, is a shrieking girl
with her face on backwards.
pixkris: Wedding Day Smiles (Sleep)
Who among us has not heard this poem in her heart, even if never in words?

Poem: "In Praise Of My Bed," by Meredith Holmes from Shubad's Crown (Pond Road Press).

In Praise Of My Bed

At last I can be with you!
The grinding hours
since I left your side!
The labor of being fully human,
working my opposable thumb,
talking, and walking upright.
Now I have unclasped
unzipped, stepped out of.
Husked, soft, a be-er only,
I do nothing, but point
my bare feet into your
clean smoothness
feel your quiet strength
the whole length of my body.
I close my eyes, hear myself
moan, so grateful to be held this way.

November 2010



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