Ugh. I hate posting late on Poetry Thursday. It really is my favorite day of the week.
I was thinking about the idea of worth. Specifically, I was thinking about it in reference to Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club. Know your worth. Those words run through my head all the time. As a middle-class black woman in Massachusetts, what is my worth as a poet? What is my story? And now that I am raising a daughter, who is second generation removed from the civil rights movement, how am I going to explain how important it is to value those things we take for granted. Poetry is a way into all of those complex subjects for me.
So I was thinking about all of this and wrote something completely different! How many times has that happened to me over the years. Oh well. Maybe I'm not ready to write about worth because I'm unsure of my own. Well, I'm unsure about where I fit into the scheme of things.
Kerning is an old print term that refers to the spacing between letters. I was thinking about family and words and came up with this.
Today I spent the morning
brushing pink crayon
from your teeth. This tells me
you know how to eat words.
You’ve tasted those intangible calories
that fill my cavernous heart.
You’re beginning to understand
how sloppy and brutal the imagination can be.
I put my fingers between pearly teeth
and yank petals of paper from your mouth.
Someday, I will teach you how to read
words that are not there,
show you how to breathe without
disturbing the air. Nothing lives
outside of us in this overprinted world.
Decide for yourself. Then let me know
if you can eat a crayon without leaving
Also, read the previous post about Sharon Olds' poem, The Victims.