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Samantha’s Daily Poem

September 10, 2011

The fan



She is rabid
infatuated
reads every book
even when he wrote
one for children
she went to the reading
at a children’s festival
and sat up front
on the grass
with the little ones.

Her life is scarred
and quiet
she always expected she would marry
she’s almost sixty now
but no man ever measured up
to the author
he doesn’t write her back
she doesn’t mind
she writes often
he understands her
he doesn’t have to respond.

She reads the last page again
from his latest book
and it’s so clear she could laugh:

he knows,
she matters.

September 10, 2011

Memory



My childhood
lets me back in
in glimpses
the murky
curtain of time opens
memory plays a moment
like re-reading a chapter
from an old book
I am only as familiar
as a character
as if I spent time with myself
as a little girl
and instead of growing up
she stayed suspended
and I walked
away.

September 8, 2011

The plight of a writer at an art gallery



Big squares of colour
I glance at them
my senses fumble
pretending to appreciate
before I move on to the next
written description
the clarity is electric
words, finally
ideas upon which
I can soar.

September 7, 2011

I forget that you are small



By the end of each day
I forget that you are
small.

Perhaps it’s because
I haven’t gotten around
to baby swimming lessons
or those drop-in music classes
where the parents sing along
nervously.

You and I are just
two people
going about our day
together.

It is only when
you are asleep
and I am hanging up your clothes
a shirt
so tiny it is
silly
that I am confronted
by your
littleness.

I have a miniature thesaurus
all those words
compressed into a book
the size of a business card
like a magic trick
life rendered miniscule
as if for a world of literate
mice.

You are like this
all the parts are there
only shrunk
tightly wound
like a scroll
a story that slowly
unfolds.

September 6, 2011

Ode to whistling



It was after school
and I was one of the only ones
on the bus
not plugged in
no white wires trailing out
of my ears
like limp antenna.

The bus was quiet
while a hundred different songs
blazed invisible to me
like a boiling storm
inside blank gazes
revealing
nothing.

I don’t bemoan it;
complaining about kids
these days
is like roaring up at the sky
in winter
petitioning it not
to snow.

Still, I wish
I had been brave enough
to pierce that silence
with a steady
joyful
whistle.

As old as lips
the whistle is dying
and who will remember
to eulogize her
when the last
honey-dipped melody
hangs in the air
and there are no more options
for a person on his own
to radiate joy in public
and not be presumed
insane.

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