Friday Poem: When I was a kid…

This is something I worked on in my Music Therapy Group. We looked at Andrea Gibson’s poem “Andrew” and wrote our own responses to it starting with the line “When I was a kid…”

Mine looked something like this:

When I was a kid
I took on many roles:
                Blue and Yellow Ranger
                Sailor Mercury and Tuxedo Mask
and saw no contradiction in it.
Fighting evil on the back porch
or swimming with Neptune at the beach,
legs turned into dolphin tail, making bottlenose noises in the banya.
I never cared to have a leading role,
was happy to cede Red Ranger or Princesshood
to my friends.
I’d happily serve so long as I could shapeshift too.



It’s taken on several iterations since then, but I haven’t quite become satisfied with it. It’s gotten both longer and shorter; I’ve taken the ’90s kid references out and put them back in… It’ll probably go through more iterations until it’s complete, and I’ll happily take comments and critique, even in this half-formed state.


NaPoWriMo2015 Poem 4: Outtalk the Storm

Today’s poem is CN: Hurricane Sandy & associated destruction

Outtalk the Storm

When the storm hit, it destroyed our Blu Ray player,
                 killed the bush outside our kitchen window —
                 it’s still there, grey-brown, leafless,
                 scattered photos across our neighbours’ lawns.

I go out on the deck knowing our family history
is planted there now.
It shames me:

That night my zucchini and I went down the stairs to protect
the books from a flood that never came, or came,
rather, to a different place entirely — the home I, even now,
am working to escape.

Three weeks ago, a young man in my music therapy group said: “Your comfort
gives me permission to speak up for myself.”

I try to outtalk the storm, the devastation of it,
the silence it left behind.

The storm needs no permission. It takes
the space it needs.

About This Poem
This is about Hurricane Sandy, of course. Zucchini is a tongue-in-cheek term for a queerplatonic relationship which I use with two people in my life. The prompt was to talk about rain and flooding and to end the poem with the nicest thing someone said to you. This was my response to it. The quote in the poem is a reframing of my worry that I was dominating the space by always speaking up/doing things; I think it’s one of the kindest things anyone has offered me. As always, critique is welcome!