Thursday, April 7, 2016


April is National Poetry Month. For the past four years, I have joined my friend Mary Lee, at POETREPOSITORY and YEAR OF READING in writing a poem every day for a month. This year, Mary Lee's theme is BYGONES. She has selected thirty vintage photographs from a collection she found at her mom's house in Burlington, Colorado, and is writing from one photograph every day. I'm not sure if I will write from Mary Lee's photographs every day, or if I will see if I can find some of my own. For the past few years, we have been joined by several other amazing poets- Kevin Hodgson and Steve Peterson


I'm a prim and proper gal
I know my place
crimping a pie crust over sweet cinnamon apples
bathing babies in the washtub on the kitchen table
sitting next to my Joe in the pew on Sunday mornings 
And yet…

I don't want anyone
to think me staid or stodgy
So when Verla shows up
in front of my house
in a model T,
no, that's not right,
when Verla shows up 
driving a car
and says, "Come on Rose,
we're going to lunch,"

I call to Joe
and tell her sure, 
and get my hat
and my pocket book
and my white gloves
just like any proper lady would
and then I climb in
right behind Mary Katherine,
and Gloria

and even Ruth
who really is staid and stodgy
and we all pose
for a photograph

I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2016


Mary Lee said...

I love picturing each of these ladies (you made them so individual with the names -- love Verla...I have a Verta in my past!) putting on their finest and leaving behind the housework to go (where? would a downtown hotel serve lunch? or a cafe?) out to lunch.

Dogtrax said...

I love how this story flows as a poem, or maybe how the poem flows like a story. In either case, the eye of social observation through folksy storytelling works like a charm.
And the last stanza ... perfect.

Steve Peterson said...

What a wonderful poem. Carol. I agree with Mary Lee (those names and the specific details make this so enthralling. I feel as if I know these people. And I agree with Kevin, too, that the last line is so perfect. Captains, if only for an afternoon. Historically, too, I can really imagine that the car might have helped people feel that way, too.