Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #484: Summer


Summer is Longer Here

She is the interlude who dances between the equinoxes,
her breath hot,
She is the intermission between grades–
not an interruption of education
but a continuance of all that is learned
beyond the glossy walls covered with old tape and dirty fingerprints,
of thin carpet pebbled with dried glue and freckled with chalkboard dust–
all of which make up the little factories that teach every child
like he or she was the same child.
She is the time for sleeping till not sleepy,
of standing in the rain without catching a cold,
and making messes outside that don’t have to be cleaned up.
She is the time for playing in the sun and sitting in the shade,
of lemon icebox pie on little saucers
and raspberry mint lemonade in tall glasses,
with more ice cubes than ade.
Then it is time to grow up,
and life is no longer measured in spring breaks
or summer vacations,
passing grades
or failing semesters.
Times such as summers gone by no longer come in huge swaths
but in moments strung together.
These former children find themselves wishing
they had enjoyed those summers even more,
but they did not know what they could not see
and now,
those moments stolen from themselves are spent
making their children’s summers everything they will remember
and one day long for.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 485


#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


My sadness begat anger,
& my anger begat a strength
& a different hope for the future,
ushering in a new era,
with no man I could see.

I was Eve,
except I was the fruit
that was the temptation.
I was Ruth,
who followed another man’s God.
I was an unnamed daughter of Lot.

The love Elder Roberts had for me
was the milk—
a diluter of strength,
whereas Brad’s love was the sugar,
which made so many other things
But David’s,
David’s was the base—
the coffee—
for it was the strongest.

Unrequited love on my side
made me bitter;
unrequited love on his side
made me wistful.
When I found my love
& he found me,
I found contentment.

Even as Catholic priests took vows of poverty,
& obedience,
the Mormon vows of marriage,
& clean living applied to all members.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book


My friends had jobs, boyfriends, cars. I began to want what they had, when before, David had always been enough.

“I would say forever, but good-bye is never forever in the Church. God be with you till we meet again in the celestial kingdom,” he said.

In Mother’s eyes, the Church was God. Nothing they would ever do & nothing I could ever say would sway her, for God had been re-created in their image.

Seven days had passed since I had received Elder Roberts’ letter, each day feeling like 1000 years, or “God” years.

The way Caitlin looked at Mr. Hobson just then was a way she had never looked at David—as a father.

The Hobson family had become part of the fabric of Green Haven, even as we had become the scraps that had been discarded.

I felt as if a whole new world was opening to me, for now that Mother had left mine, it left more room for other things, & other people.

In a few months, the Hobsons were very much a part of the town, whereas we were still finding our place in Green Haven, being “The Others.”

The space around Brad became my confessional, for Brad became my priest during those days when I believed Elder Roberts was gone from me forever.

As I began to be like other teenagers, David’s influence on me lessened. He was no longer the entirety of my world.

As the month drew closer to the Christmas holidays, without any word from Elder Roberts, I finally said good-bye in my heart to my Mormon soldier.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


Mother was Odile,
I, Odette—
the two-headed swan
Sister Wiley sought to split.

Maxwell Manor was too big to be called a house,
too quiet to be called a home.
It was The Waiting Place,
where David resided,

A bitterness,
hard & brittle,
began to form,
hardening my heart.
Elder Roberts had made his choice—
a choice that hadn’t included me.

As surely as God had brought Elder Roberts & I together,
his Church had torn us asunder.
I’d kept every commandment,
but broken all the rules.

Like Father de Bricassart with his Meggie,
Elder Roberts would love his Church more than me,
& give to it
what it would take from me.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


He was 1 of 4,
but an only child.
I was 1 of 2,
but rather than being loved equally
by both parents,
I’d been loved by one,
my sister,
by the other.

My father had read me Bible stories,
my stepfather,
poetry without pictures.
My mother had read to me not at all,
my mother,
whom I’d misread all along.

A family was eternal
in life everlasting,
but my family
would undo what God
would join
in our temporary lives.

My life, pre-Mormonism,
had been one of simplicity;
in Mormonism,
it became one of complexity;
in post-Mormonism,
it became what it should
have always been.

I wanted to drive,
I wanted marriage & children,
a college degree.
They had made me want more,
when before,
David’s love had been enough.


#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


Elder Roberts was like Scarlett’s Ashley Wilkes,
the Church, his Melanie Hamilton.
Brad was my reluctant Rhett,
& David, the uninvited guest
who crashed the barbecue at Twelve Oaks.

The only 2 lovers I would ever have
would become my husbands;
the other 2 men in my life
would be lifelong friends–
the former, my brother,
the latter,
my confessor.

My virginity would make me worthy
of a returned missionary,
my motherhood, of eternal life.
Sainthood would be mine.

I was the unspoiled dove,
Kath, the raven-in-waiting,
& Leann, the little songbird
around which the elders
hummed & buzzed
& flitted around.

Kath was their African princess,
& I,
the pallid virgin who would be sacrificed
to save one of their own.