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. I love the ending to this poem, and you're right. It is quietly reflective. The Dishwasher's Tears is a great blog, isn't it? I used to read it, until he seemed to stop blogging. But I guess he's back at it again.

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

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

  4. 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!

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

  6. 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.