#Micropoetry Monday: Opposites

taijitu-161352_1280

Sham & Wow were an odd couple,
Sham, the messy one,
Wow, the neat one,
but together,
they were the perfect oddity
that was a commodity,
for without the Wow,
Sham was a fraud,
& without the Sham,
Wow was just a common,
upside-down
tattoo.

He was Generation X,
she, Generation Y.
Though algebra wasn’t her thing,
she knew enough to know that
this x+y was the solution,
not the problem.

Lil’s passion was dumbbells & barbells,
Lily’s, poetics & texts of the literary kind,
but they were the best of friends—
until they shared a love for a thing called Chad,
who was as well-muscled as he was eggheaded.
When 2 sets of scratches ended up on his back,
that’s when the cat nipping turned into a
no-nails-barred cat fight.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #433: Fun

The (Dis)Ordered Pair

When her husband hinted at sex on the beach,
she said,
“Not tonight. I have a headache from inequalities.”

When he bought her an anniversary ring that looked like rose-colored glass,
she asked,
“And just what is the absolute value of this?”

When he asked if she’d be willing to go on a double date with Bob Carroll and Ted Allys,
she said,
“I’m just not into polynomial relationships.”

When they argued over his X-box playing and her mockumentary watching,
she said,
“We’re just the difference of two squares.”

When he begged her to make his mother’s infamous kale and tofubarred casserole,
she said,
“I don’t know how to graph that.”

When she mixed his gluten-free, cruelty-free mayo with her Miracle Whippet Good,
she said,
“I was just combining like terms.”

When she got fed up and overfed with his lack of functionality,
she said,
“You just don’t pass the vertical line test.”

But when she said,
“Chocolate is greater than, and rarely equal to..,”
he told her that she needed to take a break from algebra—
that it was making his stomach hurt—
to which she grinned and replied,
“I think you might have a calculus.”

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 433

2017: My Year in Review

1514615397572447070186

(Inside cover of inweekly–one of Pensacola’s local magazines)

It was the best of years, it was the worst of years.  It was a time of trial, and a time of triumph over that trial.  It was a time of change, and a time of recording that change.  It was a time of deconstruction, a time of reconstruction.  It was a time of friendships lost, a time of friendships found.

It was bad luck and no luck at all.  It was false hope mixed with hopelessness.  It was a culmination of every right and wrong decision my husband and I had ever made.

*

Twenty-seventeen will always be the year my family and I lost our house (security), our car (independence), and a Precious Moments snow globe I’d had since before I married, which I’d kept close in an attempt to keep my daughter’s bedtime routine familiar.  I’d lugged it around for the same reason I lugged her ladybug light around–so that wherever she slept, if it was dark enough and she closed her eyes, it would be like she was back in her old room.

It would be like nothing had changed.

*

I must have foreseen our situation more than three years ago. Not the displacement, necessarily, but the constant financial struggle which bled into everything else, and almost destroyed my marriage.

This, this was why I had gone back to school at the age of thirty-two.

*

Through this experience, I found out who my fair-weather friends were, as well as my stormy-weather ones.

I also realized that my husband’s church family had become like-minded acquaintances, but I guess it’s like that with any family–you have to go to the reunions (i.e. services) every once in a while.

I’m very blessed that my family—all of whom had gone through a degree of what we had—were there for us.  Someday, I hope to be able to repay them tenfold, just as I want to repay the other people (including the pastor who married us and is now retired) and the entities and organizations who helped us, be it through time, taxes, or donations.

Though we’re estranged from what’s left of my husband’s family, my husband and I have made it past the worst. “For better or worse” was in my vows, and I believe the better is coming.

I couldn’t go on if I didn’t.

As it states in the Mormons’ Thirteenth Article of Faith (and I am only quoting part of it), “we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things.”

During this time, I felt that everyone else had it all together, but it was towards the end of the semester that I realized I wasn’t the only one going through, for lack of better words, “really bad shit.”

Knowing this made me feel less alone.

*

Through the infighting and the angst of not knowing where we might be sleeping a week hence, through squatting in the Publix Wi-Fi area where we didn’t feel we had to buy anything and to avoid being stuck in that depressing shelter, through sneaking in to the hotel where my brother worked to eat dinner, I still managed to conquer the one class (or rather, the class that was a pre-cursor) to the class that I’d let keep me from finishing college the first time:  Intermediate Algebra.

I not only passed it, but aced it–all while my world fell apart during final exam week.

What others might have allowed to destroy them, I could not because my life wasn’t just my life anymore. I had a family, and I needed this degree to pull out of the quagmire that was poverty.

My “unhoused” (that sounds so much better than “homeless”) experience didn’t change who I was, but it changed my perspective.

When I see the homeless on the corner, I think, if only they had a family, or a family that cared. True, I don’t know their situation, but I do know we weren’t far from it.

I’m still a strong believer in self-sufficiency (for I am working hard, or rather, studying hard, towards that), but I also realize that to be against the very things that have helped me pull myself up would make me a hypocrite.

There is no shame (nor pride) in accepting help; it’s what you do with that help.

It’s why I chose to major in healthcare rather than English—I wanted to be a good steward of the gift I received. There’ve been times I was sure I’d chosen the wrong major, but I like to say it will be my healthcare degree that will pay for my creative writing degree (something I’ll be working on while I work in the medical field).

I’ve learned, albeit the hard way, that doing things in the right order is essential for success.  That’s why I didn’t choose to major in English first.

When I look at what little money my husband and I brought in, I realize that my family got our Christmas miracle early.

Because a Man fed 5000 people 2000 years ago, my family and I were taken care of, so that we could live to fight (or simply live) another day.

Writer’s Digest November Poem-a-Day 2017 Challenge #20. Theme: What I Learned

background-2850204_960_720

What I’ve Learned (so far)

What I learned from Creative Writing is that you don’t take it with the notion of learning how to get published–you take it to learn how to become a better writer so that you will have a better chance of getting published.

What I learned from Computer Concepts… Well, that would be nothing. Nothing at all.

What I learned from Ethics was “The Silver Rule” (or what I call the passive rule, as it concerns not doing something), and that I can Kant.  (I also learned that I love philosophy.)

What I learned from Poetry was that rhyme is limiting (take that, Robert Frost–I play dangerously without a net!), and that a person who wears a “Make America Great Again” hat wants to discuss more than mere poetry. I also learned that with workshopping, it’s wise to abide by the admonition of Cinderella, which is “to have courage and be kind.”

What I learned from English Composition II was how to write a research paper on a subject I knew nothing about (i.e. horses) and that Shakespeare is more fun to discuss than read. (I also learned that ratemyprofessors.com is pretty accurate.)

What I learned from Intermediate College Algebra was that I was not necessarily brilliant, but persistent enough to not allow the fear of algebra keep me from finishing college a second time.

What I learned from Security Awareness (besides finding a cure for insomnia) was that I could go viral (if not bacterial) on YouTube and make lots of money producing cat videos.

What I learned from Contemporary Literature is that a playful syllabus is indicative of a chill professor. (And a chill professor won’t take it personally if you kill him off in one of your stories. He just might laugh!)

What I learned from College Publications, Reporting, and working on the student newspaper is that I can make 24-hour deadlines. I learned that being a humor columnist would be my dream job (as I will never have a passion for reporting “ticker-tape news,” but for what comes after).

What I learned from medical coding classes what that I hate medical coding, but in learning that, I also learned that no education is ever wasted, for it took a wrong turn to get to the right one.

And what’s more, I learned that with a career and a family, it will take me longer to finish my education, but that’s okay, for as my college newspaper adviser says, “No one has ever asked me how long it took to get my Ph.D.”

There is time.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2017-november-pad-chapbook-challenge-day-20

 

Writer’s Digest November Poem-a-Day 2017 Challenge #10. Theme: Going Somewhere

protractor-46461_960_720.png

Sally F.O.I.L.

Well-endowed by her Creator,
with her complementary angles,
her right side congruent with her left,
she was quite an imaginary little number—
well in her prime.

Well-bred by her co-creators,
she was never negative or irrational,
her emotional intelligence quotient
more than or equal to those with
communications degrees.

Well-informed by being self-informed,
never giving thought to the lowest common denominator,
her thinking was far from linear,
for her mind ranged from negative infinity to positive infinity
on the y-axis and x-axis.

She was going places where few would follow,
much less understand.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2017-november-pad-chapbook-challenge-day-10

 

#Micropoetry Monday: Opposite Day

yin-and-yang-145874_960_720.png

Scrabble & Sudoku
often got into word fights,
making it a numbers game,
but when they learned how
to relate to one another,
Algebra,
who confounded them both,
was born.

He wrote “How-To”,
she wrote “Who’s Who?”,
so she didn’t know how,
& he didn’t know who.

When Airhead met Egghead,
he put his yolk upon her,
& she whipped him into meringue.

Money was the only thing
that ever came between them:
he made not enough,
& she made too much.

They were two sides of a bad penny—
she was pigtails & ponytails,
he was an unwashed head
of lettuce,
but together they weren’t worth
one red cent.

#Micropoetry Monday: Education

photo-1496229133771-d8758d6b9a38

Dr. Richards
She took a math class to learn about absolutes,
a science course to learn about theories,
but to learn about life,
she took the humanities.

From Mrs. Patrick Kelly to Ms. Patsy Kelly
Having been raised to let a man care for her,
she never knew her gifts beyond domesticity,
until she married the man who needed her care,
& found,
in herself,
her potentialities.

Reconstructing Sarah
She went back to school for a medical degree,
only to find herself in English class,
writing about how her medical degree
would pay for her English degree.

With her Master’s,
she chose to become a SAHM.
Those who said she wasted her education,
could not see the knowledge
she passed on to her children.

Because she feared College Algebra,
she quit the first time,
but 15 years later,
she found herself backed against a
crumbling financial wall,
& knew she had to overcome that
which she could not understand.