Poem A Day: Week 3

Whew! Week three is done–one more week to go. It’s been really fun to get feedback from my readers about these. I’m updating as I go on Instagram, if you want to follow there @michelledwhipple. I also just added a mom jean exposé to my Highlights.

If you asked me to explain what makes a poem good, I would quote Ted Lasso, “Well, Trent, I’m gonna put it the same way the US Supreme Court did back in 1964 when they defined pornography. It ain’t easy to explain, but you know it when you see it.”

Thanks again to @amykaypoetry for the prompts and the challenge!

Day 15: Write a Poem that Breaks a Curse

Famous Footwear

I don’t know if I’ve ever been cursed, 
but I did work at Famous Footwear, 
for one day, 

Literally nothing 
the cash register 
or shoes. 

Instead I learned 
how to greet people 
so aggressively 
they would know 
I could pick out their face 
in a lineup. 

Didn’t you know, 
everyone is a suspect? 

I was willing to sell shoes, 
But this seemed like it might
Change me forever.

I never went back. 

Breaking a curse is like this. 
You see the face of the devil
In a new pair of Nikes 
And you run. 

In the opposite direction.

Day 16: Tell Us What You’re Writing

This is a poem about anger. 

People think 
poems are metaphors 
but mine 
are so literal 
you could 
lick the wallpaper. 

I’ve never 
been compelled 
to write fiction. 

A therapist would tell me to 
Name it.

It’s anger, damn it!

I’m walking in the dark and
the edge 
of the door 
is perfectly aligned 
so both hands miss 
what my face finds. 

That’s not a metaphor.

Day 17: Write A Haiku…or 7

I got a little carried away on this one. Seven separate haikus.

When my skin tires
Of holding back the humours, 
I will still eat brunch.

Loud like a sixties
Floral maternity dress
From Lord & Taylor.

The white alyssum 
Will not be contained to the
Terracotta pot.

Four syllable words
Are fun for a haiku poem.

When the pink rose blooms
It’s a miracle because 
I don’t water it.

Haikus are supposed
To be about nature stuff
My brain IS nature.

I’ve gotta crackdown
On those screeching green parrots. 
If not, then who will?

Day 18: Write An Obituary

after Victoria Chang

$4 Ikea Frying Pan — died April 2, 2021. 
I just saved myself 
from near heavy metal poisoning 
by replacing my $4 Ikea frying pan. 
The teflon coating incurred a breach 
a couple weeks ago. 
At first, I thought maybe 
I hadn’t adequately cleaned it, 
but soon it was apparent that 
dangerous things could be 
leaching into my morning eggs 
through the tiny abrasion in the coating 
and the time to act was now. 
When I was younger, 
I would have thrown my head back 
and challenged the universe with, 
“What are you going to do? Give me cancer!?! Too late!!!” 
But now, I am aware 
that having multiple kinds of cancer 
might be worse than just the one. 
I upgraded to a $40 ceramic-coated model.
Please send eggs in lieu of flowers.

Day 19: I Will Love You

I Will Love You
after Lemony Snicket	

I will love you 
even when the story changes. 
When time falls short 
and expectations are thin and gray. 

I will love you 
in spite of the roses 
and because of the champagne. 

I will love you 
because this is my shot. 

I will love you 
when the milk is sour 
and the raspberry’s center 
has barely begun to mold.  

I will love you 
when the story changes again. 
When the hammock drops. 
When the stars glint wildly 
over glowing blue waves. 
When my feet are in the dust 
and my hair is in the sky. 

I will love you 
as the water so loves 
the touch of sandstone 
that it takes it with her as she flows.

Day 20: Update A Poem

This prompt was to take an existing poem and give it an Update. I chose Shel Silverstein’s My Beard.

Day 21: A Peek Behind the Curtain

Rainer Maria Rilke said, “Who has not sat before his onw heart’s curtain? It lifts, and the scenery is falling apart.” Amy Kay’s prompt was “What’s behind your heart’s curtain?”

Behind the curtain.

Prepare for battle. 
No—it’s not a battle at all, 
	I’m preparing to ask a question.
	The strangest question, 
not sure 
	how to win
	if you want to win, 
	what winning looks like. 
#winning—mostly old wounds dropping new blood on a different field. 

Different? I thought things might… 
	I guess I was different. 
	But things are not different. 
	Some things never change until they evaporate or collapse. 

Between the fear and the grief 
	a small fragment of hope. 
	Funny word.
Not that things will resolve. 
	I have GIVEN UP on resolution. 

Just that things might be 
	slightly better than they are now.
But there is also this 
	enlarging piece screaming MORE.


Of life.