Sunday, April 5, 2009

Poetry: Lemon Moon

Okay, the day is pretty much over, but it's not midnight yet (on the west coast anyway), so, technically, I am still meeting the deadline to post this as a Sunday entry for the poetry pledge drive. (Phew!)

I'm not sure that I'm completely happy with this new one, but I have to start letting go of the need to perfect each of these poetry posts. Banging one of these out every day isn't going to produce a chapbook's worth of masterpieces and I can't feasibly spend all day on them. At best, this month-long exercise should give me an awful lot of (or a lot of awful) first drafts. I need to keep that in mind and remember, too, that revising those drafts, as I did with Friday's poem, will be fun later.

Anyway, this next poem (#5) is based on a childhood memory I have of choking on a piece of candy at the age of 4 or 5 (just after I'd been told not to run with candy in my mouth - kids). My mother became hysterical (the first time I found out the poor woman was useless in a crisis), and my father quickly scooped me up and made me vomit. It wasn't exactly the Heimlich maneuver, but (luckily!) it worked. And, needless to say, it left a lasting impression and a vivid memory.

Lemon Moon

I almost swallowed the moon
Once. I was running, my mouth
Full of citrus slickness.

When the story is told
Now, They talk about how,
In a moment, everything turned

Like the tide. It slid back
Too far on my tongue. Mute
And fish-eyed, I gasped,

Helpless. My mother
Orbited me screaming
And screaming like a lunatic.

My father threw me
Over one arm - a blue rag
Doll dangling.

A couple solid jerks and I
Saw stars. Gleaming yellow,
The disc was launched free.

My mother plucked it up,
Holding it high - the proof,
Her relief. The sweetness was

Still in my mouth - my first taste
Of mortality, soon forgotten,
But only by me.

To read other poems or poetry-related posts on this blog, click here.

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