10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Forty-Seven)

I’ve been singing Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon all day. It’s a good song to be stuck in my head.

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 47

Poem 1:
Everything beeps at me
Let’s go to the mountains to a cabin in the woods
And cook by a fire
Eat stew and read.
Only as long as we have a car.
Oh, and flashlights
We’ll need batteries for those.
Probably matches, and gas for the heater
I should buy new hiking shoes, if you think we’re going to do any walking.

Poem 2:
She waits for this to finish
For this part to be over
So the next part can flop over
Let’s pay the bill
So we can go home
To wake up tomorrow

Poem 3:
She gave me an old pair of her shorts
90s fade out wash
Acted surprised when I told her they didn’t fit,
Oh I thought we were the same size.
You win.
She invited boys from church to lunch
Had herself goad me to tell about that time
Then spoke and chatted away.
Made sure she said goodbye to them

Poem 4:
On the topic of persuasive essays
She wrote about abortions
In her safe Christian environment, with curled dyed hair
It was the topics her parents had told her about
Killing babies is bad
And, um, we should stop it
And not let these women kill their babies.
Our teacher, to prove his loftiness
Asked her, what if the mother’s dying
Because she said, no, you shouldn’t allow them
He said, I agree with you, but
And she cowered behind her printed papers
To repeat, killing babies is wrong.
I’d never heard this before. It was legal.
Not any of my business. So I asked my dad.
He agreed with Clinton, he said.
Safe, rare, and legal.

Poem 5:
I couldn’t get out of the bed
Until thirty minutes to class
I had to wash my hair today
No choice, I skipped yesterday
But I didn’t have time to brush it
Forgot to sleep in a braid
I stood in front of the mirror trying to work through
These tangles
So I could dry it and go
But I drowned in knots
What was I going to do when I graduate?
How didn’t I have any friends.
I should have been doing internships
And sailing.
I couldn’t hold myself together
I couldn’t even do one thing
Can’t even brush your own hair
I dug the hairbrush deep and ripped down
It stuck there so I could let go
And I cried. No makeup, wet hair, wrinkled shirt, jeans with pilling
Boots with holes and you’re fat. I couldn’t even part it to braid it.
It was gonna freeze in the air this morning.

Poem 6:
It must know to grow back
Once I shave it off
If my hair can do it
So should my heart

Poem 7:
He said with a disgusting glee
Ashely’s back home.
He was being cute.
The dead dog
He brought back in a box.
Shouldn’t we get a certificate or something
So we know it’s her
They burned.

Poem 8:
He called to say he made it home from his trip
One of his bucket list cross offs
He stopped by Vegas too.
You should see all the people.

Poem 9:
He told me when he went to church
Like he was sharing a great secret
Part of his soul
That he didn’t listen to the sermon
Instead he planned lunch
He told us to stop doing the same

Poem 10:
Look at all the happy we had today
We bought boots and books and shoes
And got ice cream and pizza
Such a happy day
Let’s not be sad.
Like she lives on a precipice of sadness
We can’t even talk about
Or she’ll fall in
I want to say it’s ok to be sad
It’s ok. This forced happiness
Almost worse.


15 thoughts on “10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Forty-Seven)

  1. Jocellyn

    Cool exercise! The first speaks to me. I’m such a wanna-be spontaneous a la: you and me baby…and some wine. and blankets. and pizza delivery. that fuzzy blanket. lol. and so on!

      1. kathryningrid

        I think that all art is self-portraiture at some level. What sets yours apart is the lack of either the maudlin tone of martyrdom or self-congratulatory tone of I’m-deeper-than-you-are, both of which I think often pervade the poetry written about one’s own real-life struggles. Since this set seems to address a fair number of universal emotions and experiences, but from your own perspective, I appreciate that the character of your poetry is simply far less self-indulgent than self-expressive, as I read it.


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