Monday, November 30, 2009

Poetry Project

This poem is from a book of poems and short stories that I've had for a long time - I Am Becoming the Woman I've Wanted. I've been thinking about it alot lately, and I really love it. I don't know much about the author, Ellen Kort, except that she was poet laureate of Wisconsin from 2000 to 2004. (You can read another one of her poems here: http://wipoetlaureate.wi.gov/docview.asp?docid=15839&locid=161.)


If Death Were a Woman
by Ellen Kort

I'd want her to come for me smelling of cinnamon
wearing bright cotton purple maybe hot pink

a red bandana in her hair She'd bring
good coffee papaya juice bouquet of sea grass

saltine crackers and a lottery ticket We'd dip
our fingers into moist pouches of lady's slippers

crouch down to see how cabbages feel when wind
bumps against them in the garden We'd walk

through Martin's woods find the old house
its crumbling foundation strung with honeysuckle vines

and in the front yard a surprise jonquils
turning the air yellow glistening and ripe

still blooming for a gardener long gone
We'd head for the beach wearing strings of shells

around our left ankles laugh at their ticking
sounds the measured beat that comes with dancing

on hard-packed sand the applause of ocean and fulls
She'd play ocarina songs to a moon almost full

and I'd sing off-key We'd glide and swoop
become confetti of leaf fall all wings

floating on small whirlwinds never once dreading
the heart-silenced drop And when it was time

she would not bathe me instead we'd scrub the porch
pour leftover water on flowers stand a long time

in the sun and silence then holding hands
we'd pose for pictures in the last light

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