Poem-a-Day April 2019 Writer’s Digest Challenge #27. Theme: Direction #aprpad


Saying No to the One-Man Creepshow

He was Stan–
Stan the Man,
he said.
She was Jan–
Jan with the big cans,
she said,
which was why
she did not need
Stan the Man
with his ooey, too-dewy
wandering hands.

When he asked to take her to bed,
she said,
“Never to bed,
even if we wed.”

“In a car?” he asked.

“Never in a car–
no matter how fast or how far.”

“In an elevator?”

“Never in an elevator–
no matter how high or how low,
you will never be the way I go.”

“In the grass,
under a tree,
or on the roof,
facing the sea?”

“Never in the grass
or out of the grass,
under a tree
or over a tree,
on a roof
or off a roof–
not even off my rocker–
whether facing,
or defacing,
the sea.
You are gross,
you are gross,
don’t you smell,
don’t you see?”

“Try me,
try me,
you might like me,
you shall see.
Just one kiss,
and you will be in bliss.”

She shook her head and said,
“This ain’t green eggs and ham.
If I take you in,
I can’t just spit you out,
and swallowing,
with my being Catholic,
is not allowed.”

And so Stan the Man
became Stan the Mailman,
delivering only those
oh-so discreet packages
that women really wanted
(batteries not included).

2019 April PAD Challenge: Day 27


Poem-a-Day April 2019 Writer’s Digest Challenge #26. Theme: Evening #aprpad


Thursday Evening

Her evenings were spent
not shuttling her child
to practice or lessons
or herself to the next job
but eating a home-cooked dinner
prepared by her husband,
watching “Wheel of Fortune,”
reading and singing to her daughter
and asking her the questions
only she could answer
but could not,
for her little girl
was a brightly-colored door
with a panel of frosted glass
that was shatter-proof
and a lock that was foolproof.
Sometimes this mom went to an event,
and sometimes she made it to the Y,
for she believed in getting your money’s worth
out of a gym membership,
not a buffet.
She was an anxious person,
understanding that just as some drank
to silence the voices,
she sometimes had to take a pill
to silence the stories–
a temporary solution to
“Writers’ Flow.”
She tried to remember to tell Jesus
to let her mom know she said, “Hi,”
but sometimes she forgot–
just as she forgot if she shampooed her hair
until she squeezed the green gel
known as Prell
into her hand
and her muscle memory kicked in.
She’d put the clothes in the dryer
and forget to turn it on,
take something out of the oven
and forget to turn it off.
She’d try to tamp down her anxiety
when having to watch a movie
without closed-captioning,
feeling mentally exhausted
trying to piece together
what she did hear.
Maybe being able to see the words
was why she had become a writer
and why,
when the hustle-bustle of the day
died down
and her little girl had been put down
for the night,
she could lose herself in all the words
she could not see.


Poem-a-Day April 2019 Writer’s Digest Challenge #25. Theme: Exile #aprpad


A Mom’s Exile

The bathroom:
my dad’s study hall growing up
& my reading nook now–
because going to the bathroom is boring.
If I want to escape with chocolate
without having to share
or wax my underarms (armpits sound nasty)
without an audience,
I go (not skip) to the loo,
leaving evidence of the latter
in the lavender-scented trashbags as proof to my husband
that women have a higher tolerance for pain.
I can soak for an hour,
brainstorming so hard,
you can hear the thunder & see the lightning
if you look & listen close enough,
but don’t get too close
unless I need you to bring me my tweezers.

2019 April PAD Challenge: Day 25

Poem-a-Day April 2019 Writer’s Digest Challenge #24. Theme: Complete (Blank) #aprpad


Complete Rejuvenation

70% diet,
20% exercise,
10% sleep & stress reduction
the experts said was the skeleton key
to a healthy life
but for her,
it was 100% sleep
because with that came the energy to exercise
& prepare healthy meals,
not to mention the energy to simply care.
With 80 winks,
she overcame her anxiety
& conquered it all.

2019 April PAD Challenge: Day 24

Poem-a-Day April 2019 Writer’s Digest Challenge #22. Theme: Correspondence #aprpad

Beyond Paper & Pixels: The Theory of Relatability

His favored correspondence was texting–
with its acronyms & abbreviations;
hers was lengthy letters
written in cursive.
Both were considered a form of code
neither could understand–
his without her 9-year old niece
& hers,
without his 75-year-old great-aunt.
When they met & talked to each other in person,
as all human beings should,
he couldn’t speak in shortcuts
any more than she could in cursive,
& they finally understood one another.


Poem-a-Day April 2019 Writer’s Digest Challenge #21. Theme: Sketch #aprpad


A Sketchy Love Story

She was a composite sketch artist,
helping witnesses & survivors
piece together portraits of the
person or persons responsible
for crimes against humanity.
He was a caricaturist,
setting up his booth at carnivals, festivals, & fairs,
delighting children & adults
with his portrayals that
exaggerated their humanity.
When he stole her heart,
she drew a picture of him
& put it on a WANTED poster,
even as he drew her
& put it on a “Have You Seen this Woman?” flier.
When they found each other–
somewhere between the police station
& the county fair,
they were holding the valentines
that had brought them together.