Tag Archives: parents

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Ninety-Three)

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes (8:45)
Day 93

Poem 1:
I scuffed my feet along the carpet
Of my Grandparent’s house outside of Chicago
I had my Christmas socks on
Mom had already threatened to leave twice.
But I had just figured out how to make my thin hair stand
On edge
And shock someone else.
To the front door
All the way to the box color tv set.
Swish shss swissh.
I put my hand on my sister’s arm
And I smiled
And she glared.

Poem 2:
She stood in line with my sister
And told her she would only pay for a few meals
While the line could hear them
At the pay counter to the deli.
As soon as they sat down,
Food in baskets in hands,
She said, no I changed my mind
I’ll pay for all our food.
This was my vacation.

Poem 3:
She said, you could have said
I was expecting you to do this for me
Instead of getting mad.
I said you would have gotten mad either way.
She said, you can’t predict what I would say.
I said why don’t you make me a list of appropriate responses.
I look her right in the eyes.
And she got to be shocked
She could raise a child so mean.

Poem 4:
I dance to the song that plays
And sing along
As loud as I can
Because I know all the words
And the beats.
I get to dance without pressure
Because I can’t hear anything
But the song in my ears
Dancing all along.

Poem 5:
She tells him how to pack
What to take
Double checks to redundancy.
But when she’s gone
He wont’ be able to pack at all.

Poem 6:
I’ve been so cold
The unwashed stiff white flower quilt in the corner became a
Safe harbor from the heat that wasn’t turned on.
I curled around myself my arms kept my chest warm
My hands balled in fists
As I tried to sleep to make morning come faster.

Poem 7:
He would say to us
I’d like to buy that for you
But I can’t afford it.
This is why I save money
And try very hard
Not to spend it on coffees.

Poem 8:
The floor boards creak a certain way
When she’s about to knock on my door
And give me a two second warning
To put myself on guard
And put the other one,
The behaved me
Up in front and center ready.

Poem 9:
I’ve said the wrong thing again
I keep messing up
It’s all my fault
I can’t do this right without practice
And I’m too scared to practice.

Poem 10:
I’m so cold.
I’m so cold.
I’m so cold.
If I say it like a mantra
Maybe it will go away.
I’ll get so used to it,
That like spring shorts
I’ll be fine with skin in snow early in the year.


10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Sixty-Nine)

It’s raining again. Cold Rain.

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 69

Poem 1:
I walked a biker’s path in the park
I walked along the twists and turns
Following the tire marks in the mud and dirt
I got to the fence,
To the clearing before the fence
When the path suddenly stops
Shocks into open grassland
And my tracks disappeared.
They all went somewhere else
Those footprints I followed.
I make my own way pathless now.

Poem 2:
I know the opening chords
And sigh for the comfort I know will soon be
I’ve heard this song before and again
I know how it goes, no surprises
The voice sounds the same
I get to hear a repeat
Just the same, like I can never be

Poem 3:
She asked me
Do you remember when your brother was born?
I was little, I say, thinking, how to say this
I didn’t see anything
But you had me hold a mirror
So you could see the baby
You yelled at me, tilt the mirror
So I can see him.
That’s it and all.
But I can’t tell my Mom that.

Poem 4:
I would walk back through his memories
With a sprinkling jar
Adding bits of love
Dashes of hope
Here and there.
But he would turn out spoilt.
Because, it seems to me
The only way to get good people
Really good ones
Is to have a horrible sad beginning
It gives you a shot a one in twenty
Of turning out great, not just there.

Poem 5:
She played on the school piano
The “Yellow” song from the radio
One anyone who played wanted to play.
She played until the better came up behind her,
With concertos and memorized rhythms.
The sounds swallow the sounds,
Pop yields to skill,
But I got to listen for free.

Poem 6:
She threw us a wine and cheese party
But mispronounced gouda
I said it my way in front of her.
She hosted it in our place.
So proud of her perfect palate pairings.
I felt it my job to remind us of our humility
And mock the little cheeses on their little plates
With our dollar store wine stems.

Poem 7:
I blew bubbles with a magic wand
Plastic bent and pink dragged across
Bits of remaining package foil.
Landed on the grass without popping
With wind.
But when I tried to place the bubble
From the wand to my hand to the grass
They always popped
Grass is sharp if you tap it with your hand
But the bubbles did better by themselves.
I couldn’t help but ruin all the air.

Poem 8:
Life would be so boring
She said
Without a flair for the dramatic.
I said no one is interesting without hyperbole.
We all make our lives so much more interesting
Because they only matter to us.

Poem 9:
She sang me, “You Are My Sunshine”
When I couldn’t sleep.
If I hear it now, from another
I become alert
Waiting for my mother, her voice
Her voice is mine for that song.

Poem 10:
He said, that’s ok you did your best.
But I didn’t I say
I tried but not my best.
He didn’t know what to say to that,
The thought never occurred.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Sixty-Three)

It’s one of those awful days where everything I do seems wrong.

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 63

Poem 1:
You ask me to tell you when I’m upset
Then get mad at me for being
I’ve upset the whole dynamic
With my reactions way

Poem 2:
He looked at me
I knew he liked me
Double like
But I didn’t want him to
There’s something wrong with you if you like me
But I didn’t want him dating someone else
Because I thought he was mine
His eyes were mine
Even if I didn’t want them
I grabbed strength from his mine eyes

Poem 3:
He offers me money
I won’t take anything else of his
Not his words
So he offers what he offered
Had to give
That brother of his before he died
Using old patterns of what worked
For dependence
The old who gives
Becomes so magnanimous
Helpful like he should,

Poem 4:
The saddest thing I ever saw
Was the indifference of the listener

Poem 5:
I woke up and checked my wrist
The sore wrist
From my fall
To make sure it worked.
After the accident
I kept checking my shoulder
Adjusting to injury
That’s what it will be like when I’m old
Constant adjustments to slow

Poem 6:
I wanted to climbs trees when I was little
Get sap on my hands
Boundary break
But all our branches were too high
And I couldn’t go into those woods
The tree by the house grew dying
I flew airplanes with my outstretched arms

Poem 7:
She says if there’s one you like better
Even if it costs more
You should get it.
So she pushed her to buy a leather jacket
For some ungodly amount
Even though she wasn’t sure
She kept saying you’ll regret it
She lived to avoid further regret.
She made her cry
She didn’t have the money in her account
And the jacket left on the hook with resentment
Of the woman who pushes for her best in us all.

Poem 8:
We cleaned each other’s dishes
If they stood in the sink.
Point being, not to be nice to be owed,
But a nice to do.
With expected returned favor
Of your dishes washed.
We were all motherly.

Poem 9:
I told them I gave my roommate the apartment
For the night
They said, you got sexiled
What a term
For space given

Poem 10:
Make friends through
Chance repeat encounters of
No instant friends, only
Sameness seen repeated again
But if you don’t meet anyone
No chances to see again
To make friends.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Forty-Five)

I pop my gum. If this was the only thing you knew about me, what would you think?

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 45

Poem 1:
I have a lot of regrets
About you guys growing up
But I wish I would have stopped Grandma
From being mean to your brother
I should have said stop it
Or we’re leaving.
I can’t listen to this again.
I won’t hear out her pains
For not protecting her little boy
She doesn’t see
Doesn’t still
Catch the insults
In the in between
Slights and checks
All to favor her little boy.

Poem 2:
Toughen up
Because you should
Have to
Must, will, and it’s only a matter of time.
We’re saying, don’t react the way you are
Because you can’t get away, from that, with that, for long

Poem 3:
I know why now
I don’t tell you, me.
It gets taken down, marked down, wrong
In all its shapes and forms
No no, see, you miss the point
A continual this doesn’t concern you
And wouldn’t understands
This opinion of yours doesn’t count.
It took me years to be able to share
To realize that what I thought, valued
To be incorrect for so long
Keeps you to talk about pop and entertainment

Poem 4:
False modesty
Oh because I’m a Neanderthal
I don’t know who this is
But you know more than you let on
And you’re glad of it
It’s your secret way
Of making sure you’re better
Than the room
Can’t hurt, if you’re smarter

Poem 5:
I got new glasses.
My world sits a bit wobblier.
I double took my mirror.
Had my face always looked this tired,
Who the hell is this?

Dents in my skull,
Arms of the glasses loved me for so long.
I broke a plastic pair in kindergarten.
They had blue and purple colored dots.
A pair snapped after I came in from the cold.
Had to get a prescription faxed.

All these other people see,
Frames I take with me,
Holding my eyes,
Keeping it all behind glass.
See through glass,
To notice my tired lines,
On this new plastic person.

Poem 6:
The other dog
Looks up the stairs
Where the dog used to lay
With her paws over the stair’s edge
He seems to be looking for her to be there
But I’m just saying he’s looking because I’m sad
He is happy to be pack leader now that she’s all ash
Our Ashley all turned to ash in a little brown paper box

Poem 7:
If Dad shaved his beard
He grew when he had children
To look adult, parent like
After marrying late
He’d feel less the father

Poem 8:
Sushi Place
They tell me it’s the new local gay hangout
Must be dubious to stay in cornfields then
Better to come to all you can eat chopped up fish

Poem 9:
Drive, your drive
To achieve with all this determination
Prowess, empress, status
Went away when you married
Said, it’s too hard to be alone
I thought, weak,
Look what was given
But how can I judge her dirt
From my gravel

Poem 10:
Let’s sing today
A big loud sad song
In some old mossy church
As loud as I can
Till my voice cracks
Off key, time, with smiles
And bad posture
Short breaths and dropped phrases
In memory of the director
The choir leader
Bastion of voices
Who’s brain hemorrhaged this morning at 5:37 a.m. and became a vegetable
Leaving a choir of her kids unmanaged, singing with a sub.