1991 • page 9

Home Poetry 1991 • page 9

September 18

Hot and muggy
in my little box room
with sweettart colored map
and off-white walls.

The fan hums and whistles
moans and drones
warm breezes at my calves,
upright and bare.

My French student has written
to say I am nice and beautiful
which pleases me greatly.


September 22

It’s funny how fast you can get pregnant
wake up one morning
fit, trim and nonreproductive
retire in the evening plump, bloated
and stomach full
little kicks against the walls
and a strain in your lower back.

September 22

The work is satisfying
tidying and straightening
organizing and ordering.
I line bindings up with the edges of the shelves
put labels on squarely
alphabetize names and titles
I stamp and tape, cut and staple.

Books, when you shelve them,
make a hollow clunking noise
or sometimes a patter
for several books simultaneously
then a sss hiss as you push them in
and a high-pitched tap
as they touch the back of the case.


September 24

Sometimes you can write poetry and
sometimes you can’t.
Sometimes you can
Sometimes you can’t
It’s not always the same.

Sometimes I have a whole poem in my head
It jumps in itself,
sits for a while.

Write it down, I say,
because poems are impatient.
They don’t wait around long
before they jump out again.
Leaving you with a vague idea
and a jumble of words.

October 2     Coming home late

My poptart
smells so good.
I walk quietly with it,
don’t make the floor creak,
while Joe sleeps.

Poptarts cooked
are better than raw
although some disagree.

Eudora watches me with skepticism.
She says, “This girl isn’t serious.”
“This girl won’t write.”

She warns me as her car pulls away.
“I know, Eudora,” I say.
“I know, Ms. Welty.”


October 6

She is beautiful
this woman who kneels
in a sea of bluegreen
and the light that
filters into the corner
creamy pink.
She is serene and submissive,
hands folded on her lap
she waits patiently and attentively.

Silly Matisse stuck a fish bowl in the corner.
Electrified fish swimming in circles,
but she doesn’t seem to notice.

I would like to go into that woman’s room
take her place on the mat,
rest my hands on my lap and sit peacefully
in that sea of bluegreen
breathing underwater
just like the fishes.