Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 11: Was She Pretty?


Here she comes,
my mother, trailing five husbands.
Hollywood starlet, she never asked
if she were pretty. She couldn’t sing.
She couldn’t dance.
Her death began when she was knocked
eighty feet down the freeway;
a roaring semi-truck couldn’t stop in time.
She couldn’t stop in time.
What was she doing on the freeway,
crossing over to the other side?
Trying to cross over to the other side?
Crossing over the road to that wayside tavern
for just a little drink along the way.
Ever truly dizzy after that, she finally fell
To her death off a rocky cliff.
Was she drinking? Yes.
The ocean held her innocence one last time,
A blonde mermaid awash in the drink, gone,
a loss I still don't understand.

Today's Octpowrimo featured Katy Makkai's famous poetry slam performance, Pretty. We were to write about something we resist saying, something that moved us. But first, watch Katy Makkai before sinking down into the poem we wanted to write. And this poem came slamming out of my past. It's not the poem I wanted to write. I know very well what I want to resist, what I need to say and do. But the issue of "pretty" is charged for women of any age. I've always felt that poetry is for those times when we have no words to say what we feel. We read poetry and it eases something deep within. May it be so.