The Daughter

The Daughter

We said she was a negative image of me because of her lightness.
She's light and also passage, the glory in my cortex.
Daughter, where did you get all that goddess?
Her eyes are Neruda's two dark pools at twilight.
Sometimes she's a stranger in my home because I hadn't imagined her.
Who will her daughter be?
She and I are the gradual ebb of my mother's darkness.
I unfurl the ribbon of her life, and it's a smooth long hallway, doors flung open.
Her surface is a deflection is why.
Harm on her, harm on us all.
Inside her, my grit and timbre, my reckless.

– Carmen Gimenez Smith

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For My Daughter

For My Daughter

I love her fierceness when she fights me,
shouting "Not fair!" Her eyes slitting
like shutters in cities by the sea.
Her life is rife with bonfires—seen and unseen—
fires that burn through the turning years
bringing her to life again, and again, in a miracle of smoke.
This heat gives her a sense of forgiveness—or so I imagine—
she kisses my back, capriciously, when I scold her.
Maybe she recalls the scalpel by which she was born.
Easy, the mark of its slash in my skin.
She rose from my belly as I slept. We're bound together
by peace, no shrieks of pain, and my modesty.
We're a canvas by Giovanni Bellini: a virgin and a sweet rabbit.

– Antonella Anedda

Kiss of the Sun

Kiss of the Sun

 If, as they say, poetry is a sign of something
among people, then let this be prearranged now,
between us, while we are still peoples: that
at the end of time, which is also the end of poetry
(and wheat and evil and insects and love),
when the entire human race gathers in the flesh,
reconstituted down to the infant's tiniest fold
and littlest nail, I will be standing at the edge
of that fathomless crowd with an orange for you,
reconstituted down to its innermost seed protected
by white thread, in case you are thirsty, which
does not at this time seem like such a wild guess,
and though there will be no poetry between us then,
at the end of time, the geese all gone with the seas,
I hope you will take it, and remember on earth
I did not know how to touch it it was all so raw,
and if by chance there is no edge to the crowd
or anything else so that I am of it,
I will take the orange and toss it as high as I can.

– Mary Ruefle

“This Is a Poem About My Life”

“This Is a Poem About My Life”

the grapes
remind me of the whales
gathering salt for the ocean

this is a poem about my life

you've interrupted
my life and death schedule
which gives me that poetic look each day

this is a poem about my life

where was I before I met you?
I was eroding on my way to work
and slept a lot
deep in the subways

this is a poem about my life

then I met your lips
on that windy day
I stopped poisoning my life
on Monday mornings

this is a poem about my life

when I met you
you were undressed
like a stone in the rain
I swam after utterly naked

this is a poem about my life

before you leave me to heal
I will find you someone to love
who will be shaped like a box

this is a poem about my life

before you leave me to heal
I will become an apple
and hide in a clock

this is a poem about my life

I will plant these wild lines
they will grow into honey
and weep in the spring
for you

2.14.94

– Frank Lima
from Incidents of Travel in Poetry

Jailbreak

Jailbreak

It’s time to break out —
Jailbreak time.
Time to punch our way out of
the dark winter prison.
Lilacs are doing it
in sudden explosions of soft purple,
And the jasmine vines, and ranunculus, too.
There is no jailer powerful enough
to hold Spring contained.
Let that be a lesson.
Stop holding back the blossoming!
Quit shutting eyes and gritting teeth,
curling fingers into fists, hunching shoulders.
Lose your determination to remain unchanged.
All the forces of nature
want you to open,
Their gentle nudge carries behind it
the force of a flash flood.
Why make a cell your home
when the door is unlocked
and the garden is waiting for you?

– Maya Spector


In times past, when I felt imprisoned by something, I simply assumed that the door was locked. Now when I feel trapped, I give the door a push — it’s amazing how often it flies open! … Whatever may feel like it has you locked in, it’s spring! Get out into that garden and start planting the seeds of new life. 

– Parker Palmer

Endings

Endings

Things do not explode,
they fail, they fade,

as sunlight fades from the flesh,
as the foam drains quick in the sand,

even love’s lightning flash
has no thunderous end,

it dies with the sound
of flowers fading like the flesh

from sweating pumice stone,
everything shapes this

till we are left
with the silence that surrounds Beethoven’s head.

– Derek Walcott