Thursday, July 06, 2006

Poetry Thursday: The poetry of the personal

This week's poetry thursday prompt was to write a poem that is 'personal'. Many (though not all) of my poems do come out of personal experience and my family weaves in and out of my work. For this week, I decided to post a poem written in response to a question from a wonderful blog I follow called 'The Dishwasher's Tears'. The poem is neither confessional nor intense, simply and quietly a personal reflection about a series of quiet moments that make up life.

I hope you enjoy it.


My ten year old son slips
a dimpled hand in mine.
We study ants, stalk a tiger-
striped cat. He finds a penny,

tails side up. I learn to conjure
the memory of fireflies. We scan
skyward for the swoop of bats,
never pity the mosquitos.

His older brother calls out
in a man's voice, belly laughs
at the approaching doppler
of an ice cream truck's song.

The dog greets me by the door,
tennis ball in her mouth, hopeful
tail a helicopter. My husband lifts
my hair, cools my neck with kisses.

ljcohen, 2006


  1. The confessional doesn't need to be all storm and fury, but this simple and clean (and perfectly imaged) revelation. A great gift.

  2. I love what you've drawn here. Paying attention to the quiet details pays off.

  3. I'm a big fan of making the everyday the subject matter of poetry. I love how compact and economial the poem is. Nice work.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I can't wait to explore yours!

  4. I like this - especially the conjuring of fireflies. A nice collection of moments.

  5. I love the line "I learn to conjure the memory of fireflies." as though children somehow remember this better than us...

    The last lines are also beautifully evocative. Thank you.