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Samantha’s Daily Poem

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.

September 5, 2011

Starfish



It’s low tide
and the starfish cling
to the pillars of the dock
like the hand prints
of a purple beast
who climbed up out of the sea.

The tide is high
the sea rides over them
but they don’t move
they don’t seem
to notice.

I remember the first time
I touched one
I thought it would be soft
like a fish
but they aren’t fish after all
their skin scraped back at me
hard like rock
like the bark
of a tree.

We were eight
a pack of us
and a boy cut off
one of its arms

they grow back

I had never seen the underside
until then
the limb in my hand
soft wet
a hundred tiny feet
waving
not understanding
that it was
dead.

I wept that night
for how stoic
the starfish was
while the limb shuddered
the rest of it endured
that savage moment
in motionless
silence.

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