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Saturday, April 30, 2016

POEM #30- BYGONES

I've been writing poems all month with Mary Lee. 
Tonight is the last one. 
I adore my dear friend
And she is an amazing poet
but this is hard work for me
and I'm glad it's over. Phew!



"family"

generally
 a snap happy clicker 
shouts 
"Say cheese"
and  there is time
to move closer
suck in the gut
 lift the chin
smile broadly

but occasionally
the camera is too quick
smiles do not have time to fix
a sliver of doubt 
a gleam uncertainty
are captured for all time

Not all families
take happy pictures

(C)  Carol Wilcox, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

POEM #29-BYGONES


"Anniversary"

Really, my love?
You don't remember
how we slipped rings
onto each other's fingers
in front of Judge Hobbs
that day some fifty years ago?
Or how I licked the sticky frosting
off your fingers after we cut the cake?
How the tin cans on the bumper
rattled as we drove away
from the church that afternoon?

Well, perhaps you remember
me carrying you across the threshold
or the musty wet-dog smell
of the rug in our motel room
on our honeymoon that weekend?
Do you remember how your father
bought dinner for us that first night?
His eyes tears as he handed me
the folded twenty-dollar bill
our first night as man and wife,
"Have a steak on me, tonight," he said.

Do you remember laying next
to me in the bed that first night
or ten thousand after that?
How our bodies fit together,
knew each other,
Loved,
created life,
loved,
warred,
loved again.

Today's our anniversary, dear.
Surely you remember us?

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

POEM #28- BYGONES


"Round and Round"

Can you see me 
there on the left
in the white sailor cap?

I'm just back
from traveling the globe
on a navy frigate

Why would I care
about watching
three cars go round 
a miniscule 
dirt track

when I have moved in
much bigger circles?

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2016




Wednesday, April 27, 2016

POEM #27- BYGONES


"Someone"

Folks always said
I was the smart sister,
I'd be someone.

Doctor?
Lawyer?
College professor?

I absolutely knew 
they were right.

And now I've proven it

I'm headed west
to be someone…

A farmer's wife!

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2016

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

POEM #26- BYGONES


"TRAILBLAZERS"

He says we need
a photograph of us
headed west
to stake our claim and so

I plop the stetson
on top of my pompadour
slide the rifle across my knee
rest my hand on my hip
put a little swagger
into my smile

the slight gap between us?

I wonder
whether it will
widen
or
narrow
as we forge
this trail.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

POEM #25- BYGONES

"Homesick"

In late summer
Mother and I
ride the train East
heat rises off the tracks
making them dance and bend and blur
And our coach car
is stifling
almost unbearable

even so,
when we get to the dorms
Mother unpacks my trunk
and makes me don
my new winter coat
with the high fleece collar
along with the matching Cossack's hat
and fur-lined gloves

I tell her I look ridiculous
point out the white flowers
in the stone planter
on the patio
just behind me
protest that I am suffocating

but Mother insists on a picture
I will not go home again
until June
and we both know
we are in
for a long
cold
winter

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2016


Sunday, April 24, 2016

POEM #24- BYGONES




"Regrets"

Ma told me not to cut my hair
she said after years of growing
she was sure I would regret it
and besides it would take forever,
at least five years, to grow back

but that Friday night
four of us were lounging in Alice's bedroom
drinking cherry cokes
and gossiping about who was going to ask who
to the Spring Formal

and all of a sudden
totally out of the blue Alice said
that we should all cut our hair
because we would look like the girls in the magazines
and besides, it would be much cooler
and more comfortable when we played tennis
this summer

it seemed like a good idea
so Alice got her ma's sewing scissors
and we started chopping away
Alice said we should cut mine first
because it would take the longest

her ma came in when
we were halfway through
eighteen inches gone
off the left side
she gasped and said,
"Your mother is not going to be happy"

and she was partially right
my mother was not happy
she went in her bedroom
and cried when she saw me
but then she came back out
and helped me finish the right side
so at least it would be even

when she was done
she showed me a picture from Harper's
I really do look like all of those college girls
out on the tennis courts
but then I went in my bedroom and cried
Alice was probably right
it will be cooler when we play tennis
but my ma was right too

I miss my hair.


(C) Carol Wilcox, 2016