A lot of times I write the funny because funny is the best answer I have. You know I have small children, right? My entire day is questions. The best answer? The funny one.
But I also sometimes have an answer that’s… (gulp) all poetic and stuff. Yes, I write stories, and poems. Mostly about my wee ones, sometimes about me (I am often the backdrop, the setting), occasionally about my father and beloved memories of our farm. (Well, mostly beloved. Except for planting potatoes in cement soil gardens when it’s 40 degrees. Or cutting thistles. In fields of thistles. But otherwise… pretty beloved.)
My poem, “A Natural History of Kansas” was accepted recently by Blast Furnace Press. The theme for this issue was “lost things.” I write sometimes (with some solemnity, I fear) about lost things that hurt: my strength, my ability to fight depression, my youth, my ability to trust, the damn audio book.
I also know that my children are a lost things retrieval system – yes, we lose mittens and books and endless legos, but every day, they retrieve and carefully lay at my feet, dusted off from their sandbox, innocence and joy.
And wonder. In a gripped arrowhead.
A Natural History of Kansas
Two small savages stand up under a yellow sun.
Sweaty foreheads press together and
their skin smells of old pennies.
“Lemme see! Let ME see!” is the old war cry.
The arrowhead falls to the ground.
The blonde one grabs it with a whoop and glee; he darts
across the yard, running now, head down, small feet a fat blur
in red dust.
The red head gives chase, but he is a small one.
This does much damage.
Silt and clay offer no ceremony and my
lesson on sharing sputters out.
Hours later, a miracle while hanging laundry.
The stubborn arrowhead is found.
I gasp and grasp its warm pinch.
Brown, pointed piece of flint, it cuts in and strikes a match in me.
My father’s farm. An oak grove.
Silt in the creekbed and there, the sharp shape.
Sunlight dapples my eyes and my father leans in.
Stretching trees and silence and water.
The way it is and was and always should be.
The redhead hugs my legs and bludgeons my toes with his yellowtruck.
He tugs, an impossible weight.
I grip the arrowhead tighter,
its weight impossible, and good.
To read the full submission and bio along with other great poets, click here: