Dear friends, I’m challenged, excited, baffled, stumped, inspired, energized, disorganized, off and running in the month’s marathon of writing 30 poems in 30 days for Tupelo Press. Your sponsorships mean so much! Enjoy the poems of my fellow marathoners, or scroll to see what landed on other days. They are working poems—most in draft form—because no poem lands whole the day it emerges.
Here’s my Day 9 poem . . . .
Pigs in a Blanket
At the IHOP
silver-quarter horse in the lobby—
Giddyup! Pat the shining mane.
Get down it’s time for breakfast.
Sun glows giddy amber and cherry
through glass jugs of table syrup.
Grandma Mimi—Isn’t this fancy?—
orders for Mother, Theodore, and me.
Your mother’s doing much better.
Probably we won’t have to stay
with Grandma Mimi like we did last year.
Mother won’t roll out of bed.
I pull a sock soft and wheezy with dust
from under my twin bed, doing things I don’t know how
while Mother drools on her pillow—
pills on her nightstand, numbers by the phone.
I go looking and looking for a shirt,
the gruel of the day.
At the end of every line, lunch, recess.
Unchosen to bat, run, catch, kick.
Bitter as the thin skin of the red apple I eat for breakfast.
Late to school, a bad time to walk in,
heads turning, teachers frowning,
I wait on the swings for lunchtime
spooning the porridge of loneliness.
Theodore doesn’t bother eating,
walks out with math book,
hand-me-down shirt dragging its tail.
I shake down the rattle of cereal with no milk.
Log Cabin syrup on Wonder Bread
kind of like french toast.
Last drops sweet like sugar all the sugar all the sugar.
Find dirty pants, wear those.
Lincoln Logs on the floor.
Breakfast an idea forgotten in the tall stack of the day,
Grandma Mimi says it quiet, like other tables shouldn’t hear.
Doing better, aren’t you, Marilyn?
Mother’s hand halfway to her mouth,
ruffly egg white on her fork.
Theodore pokes his over-easy.
It pops and runs orange yellow.
My plate. I unfold the blanket.
Three brown-pink sausages, safe together,
hot, close, stuck.
Roll out of bed, piggies.
I pick up the syrup and pour, drowning all.