Groundhog and Shadow: A Poem


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My doting mother
is the ground.
Her soil womb
does not make sound.
I nestle into
blackish dirt;
inside of her
I cannot hurt.
But once each year
the men must know
if I will see
my own shadow.
They tear my body
out of her.
Relentless sunbeams
burn my fur
as I am laid
upon the earth,
the child of
inflicted birth.
Then suddenly
appears a ghost,
the bluish spectre
I fear most:

its formless bounding
in the grass
(its undulating,
godless mass)
will churn like thunder…
but it’s me.
Beneath my feet,
the ghoul I see
is only light
which I have stopped,
or God’s intentions
I have chopped
before they landed
on the lawn.
I, entropy
have made a yawn
in greater plans
than I should touch.
The beast below
will prove too much
for my faint heart—
I whip around.
The kindness of
the silent ground

is all I know.
It’s all I want.
My mother shelters
me from haunt.
The dark down here
denies my strife,
yet men uproot
my silent life.
Their inquiries
of coming spring
will force me towards
a violent thing
I know no creature
should confront.
I hate the hubris
In their hunt.
I close my eyes,
knowing again
this time next year
I’ll meet the men.
I pray to end
solemnity,
so maybe next year
men will see.

 

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The Only Thing I Can’t Forget: A Poem


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Molly slides a new calendar
onto the old hook. Last year was clouds; this year,
twelve mountains plasticine on pages,
each wearing a glossy white cap
as if it were mink. Molly’s brown hair is in a braid,
swinging like the pendulum
in a grandfather clock, and I watch it
until I lose track of time.

I still don’t know how many days
are in a month: for me, days
seem to swirl, elusive as heavy snow.
Flurries are impossible
to greet. Anything that touches my nose
melts in moments.

The kitchen is warm. Molly clucks her tongue
and makes hot chocolate. Under the dimmed light,
I see her first grey hair, glinting platinum
like a wedding band.
I ask her why she didn’t tell me it was there.
She says it’s just her inner child
poking its nose out to play peekaboo,
its color bright only with shrill laughter.
For a moment, I can hear it
in the hot water she pours over the brown powder.
I laugh along. She drops three marshmallows in my mug.
Her lips on my cheek
bring me back to our first kiss—

it was January, and I’d never been so cold.
I told her, “The only thing I know about snow
is that I’m tired of dragging my boots through it.”
She said, “The only thing I know about snow
is that we are never as alone as we think we are.”
Our gloves met each other,
wool as good as skin.

A fourth marshmallow arrives ceremoniously,
followed by a rise in the small chocolate tide.
“This is today,” Molly says,
sweatering me inside of her. “Tomorrow is the new year.”
Her flyaways tickle my cheek until I feel
like champagne. Another grey hair drifts
before my eyes. Everything is blurry.

As the Raindrops Spill from My Lips: A Poem


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You feel the summer land on your skin
after sailing such a chilly ocean.

Which parts of the air breathe cold?
Is it warmer where the water has planted kisses
or where the droplets have left your skin untouched?
Is the sky most beautiful at its grey peak
or in the shadows beyond the evergreens?
Does it bother you when the rainy breeze
rushes with embrace?

Is this not the spot where, a blink ago,
you stared into the tumbling night,
and wondered which stars drifted in lightyears
and which in inches?
Is this not the same breathless winter moment,
the same unmoving movement,
the same stillness in heavenly butterflies,
the same ponderings of hot and cold?

You know there is no land nor chilly ocean.

You know this is the love I promised you.

Snowy Ramblings, 2 am


click for image credit

click for image credit

Cerberus is
the trio of lamps in the yard across the street

everything is so still
how can the world look so silent when i am so disquieted how
can the wind stop breathing

there are three heads of light
and even through the curtain they burn me

it’s peculiar how snow folds in dunes
like an alien planet on my driveway

the monster keeps glowing
and with thrice the force it cannot be extinguished

and i wonder why

why does anyone feel the need to slit their wrists
and how dare the world be so cruel to them that they think they must

and why does anyone need
so many lamps

it’s 2 am and my heart
is beating so hard i cannot sleep

Footprints in the Snow


Day I

Matthew follows

his older sister to the school bus.

“Come on, Matt,

we don’t want to be late.”

She takes long strides

He struggles to leap

from footprint to footprint,

chasing her boot pattern

careful not to make his own mark.

filler!

Day II

Matthew’s sister races

down the sidewalk,

towards the yellow bus that is already there.

Her legs are tall

fast

Matthew’s, not so much.

His chubby snow pants leave wide indents

awkward circles

around the hole she left before

He cries

filler!

Day III

“You can’t be late today,

sweetie.”

Matthew’s mom ties a scarf around his head

so warm breath spreads across his face.

His sister

looks indignant in the corner,

preening her hair

to pass the time

replaying the scolding

from yesterday when Matthew didn’t make it.

filler!

Day IV

Matthew’s sister’s ponytail

whips back and forth

as she walks sternly, with

determination. Matthew trails behind,

his sore legs dragging

causing solid lines

that rip across the snow.

Lacking confidence, he follows his sister undyingly

to the ends of the horizon.

filler!

Day V

Matthew’s sister is sick

She stays at home

strewn across the couch like a throw fleece

Matthew has to walk to the bus by himself.

Today,

there are no footprints to follow.

Each time he shifts his toes an inch

it is without certainty.

His cautious movements

make his mom

drive him to school.

filler!

Day VI

Even though Matthew’s sister

did not throw up this morning

and is feeling better,

she has a fever

he is on his own again.

The steps are mapped out

still there from yesterday

it did not snow last night.

He trots unconcerned, eventually looking up

from his breadcrumbs,

thinking only of making it to school on time

for the first time in a while.

filler!

Day VII

Matthew and his sister walk side by side

she is still sniffling.

When the yellow bus pulls up

they are still a block away,

and it is Matthew who chases it down

and his sister

who drifts through

his

dot-to-dot footprints.

December


It’s hard to believe that today is the first day of December. Only yesterday, it would seem, was October; now Thanksgiving and Black Friday are a thing of the past. There have been some little whispers of snow in the sky, but nothing that survived on the ground for 24 hours. And yet, winter feels close.

Winter is a great season for a few reasons. For starters, there’s the joy of the holidays and all they entail. Go a little deeper, and you’ll remember the good times of childhood building snowmen and snow forts, and then coming inside with a pink nose to hot chocolate and the weird prickly feeling of warming up. For me, winter goes beyond that, to be an inspiration and maybe even an emotion.

Christmas is a big thing at my house, as it is with most who celebrate it, but it has bigger implications for me personally. Each snowflake, each blistery gust of wind, has a story inside it. Something I like to do is find those stories and write them.

Maybe this sounds crazy. Maybe it is crazy. However, the entire season of winter for me is an inspiration. I can find anything in it: survival in the cold, holiday romance, or frozen, broken hearts; maybe even someone coming in contact with innocent joy like one would an old friend. You name it. I’ll find it.

Last year, the coming of spring scared me. It brought the idea that the ink flowing from my pen might come to a halt. Nearly everything I wrote between December 21 to March 19 had to do with winter, even indirectly, and I predict that this year will be the same. It’s a fantastic thought.

Considering the amount of writing that has come from me recently (not a lot), the coming solstice will be a welcome change. And for that and everything else that comes with it, I can’t wait for winter.

Ciao for now,

Mikki

What Happened to October?


27662343It seems like just yesterday that the entire internet was making “Wake Me Up When September Ends” jokes, and now Halloween is just 28 hours away. It feels like an entire month has come out from under my feet.

October is one of the best months of the year, right up there with May, June, and December. In October, the days start to turn darker, and every morning I wake up to a deep blue sky, still littered with stars and punctuated with a rosy moon. Before long, Daylight Savings Time is coming to an end and all that will be taken away from me.

I haven’t carved a pumpkin this year, and yet there are already Christmas decorations and Thanksgiving sales rushing in from all sides. I don’t want October to end. I’m not ready. I––I––

Okay, I need to calm down before I start hyperventilating. But, for me, the real annual end of innocence comes at the turn of winter. It symbolizes the end. At that point, you’re already in your 2014 mindset. The year has died.

My favorite holiday is Halloween. It’s when I can dress up, like I’m five again, and now it’s coming at me so quickly that I’m not sure I can grab it before it’s gone. This whole “October is almost over” thing isn’t working out too well for me.

Enjoy what you have left of autumn. It becomes winter before you even know it.

Ciao for now,

Mikki