Poem-a-Day November 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #30. Theme: One More (Blank)

Betty Slide 13

One More Memory

If I had just one more memory–
one more moment stretched into years
(with light years between the seconds)–
I would have so much to show-and-tell you.
Does that not sound like a little child?

Your presence
hovers
in the absence
of space and time
as you observe Hannah’s progression,
listen to my stories,
and see this, your daughter,
in the collegiate green cap and gown,
having remade herself into the ungraven image
she’s always wanted to be.

We share memories of you at the table;
I like to imagine you hear us
every time we speak your name.
We have no complaints.

Dad still carries your driver’s license in his wallet;
there are never enough pictures.
We say, “That’s a Mom joke!”
(when the joke is truly terrible)
or “Remember when Mom ..?”

Dad still calls you Mom;
I call you Grandma.
“Say ‘Good-night, Grandma,’”
I tell my daughter,
“blow her a kiss to heaven.”
It’s a kiss strong enough
to shatter
plaster
ceilings,
to defy
gravity.
I catch the one you send back
and plant it on her cheek.

We call you what our children call you.
You wanted Dad to call you Betty more.
Your mother always called you Betty Ann.
You liked the names Carolyn and Elise.
You dug up the roots of the family tree
to give me mine.

She is…she was…
it is just “Grandpa’s house” now,
but the contact still reads “Mom and Dad’s”
in my phone.
I will never change it.

We remember your goulash–
the only thing you knew how to make–
even though we weren’t even Hungarian.
Still aren’t.

We just are.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2018-november-pad-chapbook-challenge-day-30

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Poem-a-Day November 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #29. Theme: Remix

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From Within

God was there between them,
sturdy,
holding both their shaky hands.
Crumbling was that faith
that marriage was forever,
but when they looked at one another,
seeing one another the way they did,
they saw from their reflections
in the windows of their souls
that God was the fulcrum,
and she, the power suit in her marriage
and he,
in his birthday suit,
was a kept man.
But for this practice of self-reflection,
of seeing themselves obstructed in the beam
they saw in one another’s eyes,
they also saw that he needed her
as much as she wanted him.

*For this poem, I used every word from this one: https://sarahleastories.com/2018/11/28/poem-a-day-november-2018-writers-digest-challenge-27-theme-sturdy-shaky/

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2018-november-pad-chapbook-challenge-day-29

 

Poem-a-Day November 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #27. Theme: Sturdy/Shaky

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The Bride of Christ, the Groom of God

Shaky was her marriage,
but sturdy was the faith
that kept her marriage from crumbling,
for when they looked at one another,
holding both hands,
God was there between them,
and they saw one another the way He did.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2018-november-pad-chapbook-challenge-day-27

Poem-a-Day November 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #25. Theme: Use line from earlier poem

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She Left Them Puzzled

“For he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45)

*She was a 1000-piece puzzle who,
when put together,
always revealed something new.
Whenever she was taken apart,
something new grew between the cracks,
expanding her like the universe—
sometimes it was weeds,
at others,
flowers,
but the same rain
nourished them both.

*indicates a line used in a previous poem

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2018-november-pad-chapbook-challenge-day-25

Poem-a-Day November 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #22. Theme: Praise

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S(he) Sees the World

She praised God for all the good
and cursed the Devil for all the bad—
seeing everything that happened
through the prism of intervention
by an unseen entity,
for it was the only way
she could make sense of the world.

He praised no one and cursed nothing,
seeing everything that happened
as the result of cosmic chaos—
set in motion by a God who had left
Earth’s inhabitants to their own devices,
for it was the only way
he could make sense of the world.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2018-november-pad-chapbook-challenge-day-22

Poem-a-Day November 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #21. Theme: Protest

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The Accidental Environmentalist

Mrs. Gladys Georgana Green lived in the poor house—
just under the poverty line.
She wore her shoes till they lost their soles,
her hand-me-down clothes till they became careworn,
after which she would tear them into strips
for the rag rugs that scattered her floors.
Her margarine tubs were repurposed as Tupperware
and often filled with potato cookies at Christmastime
for the less-fortunate children.
All her furniture had come to her secondhand,
sometimes even thirdhand,
and she was grateful to get it from those who had
cared for their property so well.
Her electronics were outdated,
and her desktop computer was a dinosaur near extinction,
but they worked well enough to suit her needs.
She was not a minimalist by choice—
she’d never been privileged enough to make that choice,
for it had always been made for her.
Yet this frugal way of living had become a part of her,
for she saw the wisdom in making things last.

On Thanksgiving Day,
when she was minding her own damn business,
enjoying her weekly indulgence of Salisbury steak,
and her holiday slice of pumpkin pie that had her name on it
(in whipped cream, no less),
some whippersnapper in a Greenpeace shirt
started filming this “cow killer”
with his brand-new iPhone.

Being more going-of-age than coming-of-age,
she’d had enough of these people and their hypocritical crapola,
and so, with a spry little sprint,
she confronted this little mockumentary maker,
this propagandist punk,
and rammed her paper straw where it never meant to go.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2018-november-pad-chapbook-challenge-day-21

Poem-a-Day November 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #11. Theme: Forgiveness

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The Last Willful Act and Final Testament of Mary Alice McCann

When she forgave her husband for his pornography addiction,
it continued to happen.
When she forgave her husband for his corporal punishment,
it continued to happen.
When she forgave her husband for showing their daughter
what to look for in a husband,
their son,
how to treat a woman,
the abuse continued to happen,
for she saw bearing under immense suffering as glorifying God.
After her husband’s temper finally got the best of her,
she realized that forgiveness never meant that she had to stay;
her God had died for her,
but she had,
in a sense,
died for Him.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2018-november-pad-chapbook-challenge-day-11