April is National Poetry Writing Month! The challenge is to write a poem every day of the month. I’m using prompts from Writer’s Digest, NaPoWriMo and Kelli Russell Agodon’s list. Occasionally, I may use my own prompt ideas as well.
Write a haphazard poem/write a poem based on things you remember.
Still, it Moves
it was the night before the night
he stood in her door by nightstand light
and spoke into the bedroom floor,
“Mother, I want you to know that I believe.”
They said you had no reservations.
That you stepped sure of yourself
into the storm of shimmering silver brain-stars
scattered on the blackened field of narrowing vision
and painted confidently your mask
in powdery white and blue pallor.
Your final face.
They said it was quick, the transformation, the travel
that you knew what you were doing, where you were going,
and that you had no reservations.
There was a moment
when the gurney would not quite fit
through the doorway
at the bottom of the narrow stairs
and in stuttering, time-stopped motion, slowly
they lifted and tilted to an angle
such that the smooth sheet fell
and the body’s face rolled
toward me, standing, watching, in the kitchen
and I looked upon him, vacant
as they pushed and the body shuddered,
I shuddered, and in the moment of penetration
only then did I breathe,
“fuck” and choked,
fixed into the dead eyes
of his corpse.
They made him pale and peaceful, put-together and serene
A face of his not often, or maybe ever seen
He was costumed in clothes he would have hated
Looking neat and well, we all paraded past him
Saying niceties in spite of truth and moving on
for the benefit of the strangers, oblivious and unbriefed
as to why we gathered hushed and griefed
who would never know how his life had faded
because he looked neat as we all paraded past him
and the purple corded bruises on his throat were gone.
She asked me once, just once
if I thought he was in heaven or in hell.
I said, “I can’t believe that God would sleep well
with damning an already tortured soul.”
She reminded me that there isn’t much
that causes God a restless night,
being perfect in all and always in control.
I nodded, of course, and agreed, like Galileo,
but still I did not believe.