Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 1 poems for NaPoWriMo

The first poem is a prompt from Poetic Asides, which I will be posting one poem a day to. The prompt was to write a "what got you here" poem. The second (and I am writing 2 a day) came from reading a book about the suicide of four teens in my hometown. I stretched it a little further.

Exit 6

What tends to take me from any state
of dormancy to a level of hyperaware
is almost assuredly a girl,
and this one led me down a long,
tedious stretch of road to a town
I'd never heard of until she told me
she lived there.

It was large amounts of coffee and
hours worth of cd's crammed into the
glove compartment of a Ford Escort
that began to shake when it reached
70 miles an hour.

She led me around this county a few times
before we settled by the creek in a
town that lacks mailboxes and harasses
you to cut your lawn or be fined.

That long, expensive strip of highway
left behind and rarely traveled again.

Middle poor

An author of a book about four suicides that happened in my town
summed up everyone's childhood there in two words:
middle poor.

My father, the garage doorman.
My mother, the reluctant housewife who
occasionally served us Swanson's Fried Chicken Dinners,
whose strangely seasoned corn would some how find its way
into the brownie in the middle of the aluminum tin.
It is a scent that I actually have nostalgia for.

As a middle poor child, I had a Big Wheel and
bikes my father would find put out for the trash
in the front of other yards that he would refurbish
with different shades of Krylon paint.

And now, in a home just long strides away from
a creek frequented by geese and mallards,
I think about how rich I felt wearing Lee jeans
and hideous striped shirts my mother bought at Sears,
as I count the change in my pocket and realize it is
all the money I have that isn't going towards bills.

Middle poor to poor poor in a small town filled
with people cashing their unemployment checks,
while I come home from work and peel off clothes
that smell like burnt bread, onions and vinegar
and earned me enough to maintain my internet,
my cable and just enough to pay my car on time.

This milk white, freckled, half Italian that shares
absolutely nothing with the likes of Snooki and J-Wow,
not even the right area code.

This creator of lines, this maker of sandwiches.

1 comment:

  1. i truly enjoy the way you write...glad i found u on napowrimo...i'll b back again!