Micropoetry Monday: Feminine Wave

1973 (4)

She had shattered the glass ceiling,
ending up scarred.
She had not done it for herself
but for those who would come after her.
She had sacrificed her desires to make history—
a history that would not give her the future she wanted.

Her education had taught her the art of self-expression,
her church,
the science of self-suppression,
but it was her parents who taught her
how to do both in a way that bridged good citizenship
with authenticity.

She lived a life of authenticity & restraint,
for she knew when & how to express herself
& when & how not to.
She knew when she had met her limitations,
when she could exceed them,
& whether or not she wanted to exceed them.

Micropoetry Monday: Random Acts

He found himself puzzled by the lovely dissectologist—
enamored by her ability to not have to see the big picture
to put it all together.
When she broke his heart into 2000 pieces,
only to put him back together
as well as she had found him,
he realized that she was far better
than the cruciverbalist,
who didn’t know whether
she was going up & down or side by side,
& who just didn’t have a clue.

Stella

They did not exist because of her,
but she would not exist without them—
without the stars that had aligned
into the consummate constellation.
The occurrence
of this recombination without replication
was noted in the heavens
as April 21, 2020,
at the 37th second
of the 12th minute
of the 11th hour,
between 1 man & 1 woman—
gray matter & white matter,
yang & yin,
co-conspirators of a big bang.
The man & woman orbited their collaboration
like watchful deities,
for Stella was,
to them,
in theory,
a biology experiment
from 2 chemistry major leaguers
who had given it the old college try,
an experiment that,
in reality,
had made someone extraordinary happen.

Mila the Younger
was her sister’s keeper—
needed neither for organs nor marrow,
but for her whole person—
for her understanding of the world
& of the sister
who was not a rain man
with her head in the clouds,
but the sunlight that poured through stained glass
& tied rainbows from the ribbons of rainwater
that ran down the windowpanes.
Mila’s sister,
who colored the Younger’s life in myriad ways,
often found herself in the presence of strangers
& the absence of friends,
with the memories of the parents
who had helped her see the others—
the others who had helped her see herself.

Thinking of Mom on Mother’s Day

Sarah Lea Stories

1987My mom with me (I was about six here) and my brother, Kelly “Kel” Morgan. I never lacked for books, as you can see from the stack of Little Golden Books on the nightstand (Rota, Spain, 1987).

What would’ve been my mother’s 69th birthday passed on the 23rd of April—a day when we would’ve gone to all the different Firehouse Subs and gotten (or haggled for) her free sandwich. I still remember her precise order and how she would flip her wiggins if cheese were on it. “They slop cheese on everything now,” she always said. Of course, I’d buy a brownie or two so we wouldn’t look like greedy a-holes trolling for handouts.

Since then, I’ve been to her marker, now headstone, twice. My grandmother was relieved that Ann was included on the stone, as all the other military headstones just had the middle initial. Bernadean (my grandmother) was…

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Micropoetry Monday: The Writer’s Life

The Shutterfly Edition

She could put sentences into diagrams
but not diagram sentences.
She could put commas in their place,
telling them “because I said so,”
for trying to explain was a source of textual frustration.
She knew the difference between a tautogram & a tautology,
but not a dangling or a squinting modifier,
which she often misplaced,
yet she could still write,
which was why she was a writer,
not an English teacher.

When Paige Turner met Miriam Webster,
each suffered from a superiority complex,
for Miriam believed it was the words themselves
that got people to read,
even as Paige believed it was how the words were arranged
that kept readers reading.

He wrote historical fiction
& what could’ve been;
she wrote science fiction
& what could still be.
When they met their mutual friend
who wrote current nonfiction
in the literary present,
they saw how facts
& the way they were presented
marked the generations of their time,
as they justly deserved,
but through the lens of history,
would mark the generations after their time.

Micropoetry Monday: Yummies & Yuckies

The Hungry Hannah

From Nutty to Fruity

When the Stone Fruit family
(surname Drupe)
gathered in a felled orchard
to go over the family business,
they, through Incestry.com,
found that Almond was a long-lost relative.
When Almond—
who’d been adopted into the Nut family,
which, although seedy,
with a tough, outer shell
& the tendency to be cracked—
learned of her roots,
she blanched in horror,
for Peach was like the missing link
with all that fuzz;
talking to Cherry was the pits,
& Plum was just plum crazy.
When she rejected their soft flesh,
she went back to being ground into butter
rather than baked into pies.

Mr. Mayo was the breadwinner
who brought home the bacon,
& when he hooked up with
the tomato from upstairs,
luring her with his full head of lettuce,
they made a beautiful sandwich together.

When Holy Cow met Unholy Pig,
they opened a chicken sandwich shop
across the road called “Eat, Graze, Love,”
only to be accosted
by the Big Cheese of Animal Farm,
who thought—
with a mess of lettuce, tomatoes, & mayo
& stuffed between two pillows (of brioche)—
they were a match made
in gastronomical heaven.

Micropoetry Monday: Myths, Legends, & Fables

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When Mother Goose found the book,
From Farm to Table—
smelling of spice and everything nice—
in her mistress’s rubbish,
she knew her goose was cooked.

She lost clues in crosswords,
letters in word searches,
& Scrabble scattered her brain
with its open-ended concept.
But Ora Cleveland—
The Storyteller of Mt. Pilate—
needed no photographs to capture her settings,
no drawings to humanize her characters,
& no maps or blueprints to plot her points,
for the accents,
sound effects,
& music
that came from somewhere
deep inside her
told it all.

The Time Keeper
When the Time Keeper
saw her daughter’s hourglass,
its sand falling faster than her own,
she tipped it on its side—
stopping growth & change.
Though her child would live forever,
there would be no learning anything new,
even as this child who would be forever young
would see all those she had known as a little girl
grow old & go before her,
until there were none left,
& her memories of them would fade completely.
When the Time Keeper understood this,
she,
in a last, unselfish act,
turned her daughter’s hourglass the opposite way it had been,
just as the last grain filtered through her own,
& the daughter,
who became the Time Saver—
for she no longer tracked time
but made the time one had stretch—
lived out the years that had been allotted to her mother.

Micropoetry Monday: Myths, Legends, & Fables

20210720_165902

The Girls—
Past, Present, & Future—
walked into The Space Bar,
lamenting their lot in life:
Past,
that she was stored in the cloud,
subject to hacking,
easily forgotten,
& often repeated.
Future,
that she was contained in a crystal ball,
subject to breakage
& constantly changing course
whenever someone got a look-see at her.
But Present—
who was the most vibrant of them all—
bemoaned her infinitesimally brief life
& the fact that Past often stole from her,
& Future often outshined her.
Yet through the haze of consciousness,
Present took heart in the fact
that no one could escape her.

When Waking Beauty was born,
she was given 3 gifts by her 3 godfathers:
an eye for the men,
a nose for news,
& a mouth that could peel the paint
off an old stable.
When she interviewed her betrothed,
Prince Charming,
who found her less than disarming,
she softened her tone,
which only hardened her heart,
& she realized that the lumberjack’s son,
with his winter’s supply of wood,
was the king of her cabin.

Father Time’s Last Stroke at Midnight

All her life,
her father had been obsessed
with his grandfather clock,
& every Sunday night,
like a religious ritual,
he would wind it up before he wound down.
For the love of that clock—
his tick-tock-tocking idol—
he had missed so much of her life,
but when his time clock
was about receive its last punch,
he told her the secret:
that Fate had taken her during that Arbor Day picnic
when she had fallen into the bubbling brook,
only to be pulled out in the nick of time.
He had rushed home to turn back the clock,
to bring her back from the dead,
& she knew that even as that clock
had given him 18 more years with her,
it had gotten those 18 years another way:
in his worrying that something would happen to him
if something happened to her—
that he wouldn’t be there to turn back the clock.
And so in forsaking his living in the present
to reimagine another’s future, if needed,
he had missed a wedding & a birth,
which had both been as uncertain at one time
as her untimely death would always be.