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Samantha’s Daily Poem

August 28, 2011

Ode to plums

Cling-wrap skin
like a water balloon
my teeth puncture
chin is wet
with the fullness
of ripe juice
purple as the sky
before a storm.

I hold my fingers out
to stave off the stickiness
like you might hold a mouse
or a spider
or a fruit
that spits with its own

The rivulet has reached
my elbow
I abandon my defenses
and my next bite bursts
a flood onto my face.

The plum dies
a noble death
to be

August 27, 2011

The in-between

The first in-between phase
is the obvious one
part girl
part woman
new soft

The second
in a life
is the space between
and mother
she still wears her hair
in a knot
like she did at university
at exam time
but she also has a purse
bigger than she’s ever owned
full of just in case
items like band-aids
aloe vera
a ball.

She doesn’t yet call anyone
but she can suddenly
make an excellent soup
and she finds the words
come easier
for what she believes in.

Her son is still a baby
but she suspects
it will be the day when he first says
that the path behind her
will fall

August 26, 2011

Ode to Kamloops

We fly above
the mountains
I know they are deadly
jagged beasts
but from up here
they look tame
like sandcastles covered in shrubs
bright blue puddles
polka dot lakes
a few zigzag lines
forestry roads
the ribbon around
a wedding cake.

as though nature changed her mind
the dark wetness falls away
and new hills rise up dry as heat
brown stubbled chins
it looks quiet
no place for animals
to hide.

We land and we know by noon
that the night will not be long enough
to purge the heat from the earth
tomorrow will be
hotter still.

I have only three days here
to dry out my bones
before I fly back
I have forgotten it already
my damp salty
sopping green

August 25, 2011

Your laugh

Your laugh
everybody knows it
the kids in the park run up to us
and ask to hear it

part cackle
part typewriter

it even makes
you laugh.

You do it
for the runaway shake
for the drumbeat in your belly
for no reason at all.

It is not a consequence of joy
it is the very rumble
of joy itself.

August 24, 2011

Unreliable witness

I am an unreliable witness
to my deepest moments
of understanding

they drop like stones

but they leave
like clouds
shaped like a rocking horse
the day
our friends’ baby died

a gift of insight
and then suddenly
just a smear
in the sky

and though we both saw it that time
neither of us felt sure
that we had seen it at all.

I always say I will take notes next time
trap the good idea
but I never do
to look too long
for fear of seeing
how common
it was.

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