Monday, May 19, 2008


"You should always be mindful
Of your presence" she says.
"Never tell strangers anything
And make sure you keep clean....
Hey," she continues cheerfully
but I'm not listening to her voice.
Her old hands rustle my breeze
dried curls. I clear my throat.

"Off you go. Good luck.
remember to stand up

She kisses me on the cheek.
I lurch from her firm position
In the middle of the driveway
And crane my neck to offer her
a sincere smile.
"I love you," I mouth

Slowly Opening the door of a silver station wagon
I get in. Sit down. Key. Ignition and drive
In the opposite direction

The rearview mirror frames my mother
Waving a clouded hand back and forth.
For a second I think I see shadows
Blurred and riled frantically, rushing
From her In all directions.
I drive away.

I’m going nowhere now.
In the suburbs I drive
circles in cul-de-scas.
Windows down with the air on
Full blast, listening to the radio,
I hum quietly to the road.

Don’t live inside yourself
Get on pills
Get a shrink
Get some advice
You don’t need to hide
From the problems of today
That were not named before your lifetime
But you are still left to sort them all out.
Bi-polar disorder, ADD, chronic pain, clinical depression,
Having to go to college
In order to be taken seriously.

You are not alone
So get off yourself,
Swallow your pride
And go back home.


Andrew said...

The narrative structure to this poem seems like it might lend itself better to a short story. You seem to want to talk about bigger personal issues than you can sum up in the last two stanzas, and if you had more room to work you might have more room to explore the ideas in italics more fully- as they are, they seem sort of trite. That might have been your intention, but regardless, I think you probably have more to talk about or say about it than just that, and I think the poetry form might restrict that. To be blunt if it is just a poem acknowledging already-acknowledged problems with no new thoughts about them then its not really worth writing for publication.

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