Poem-A-Day Challenge: Days 14-15

I was stumped by yesterday’s prompt and had to sit on it for a day, so I’m doubling up to hit the halfway point right on schedule!

Prompt: “Two for Tuesday”: Write a love poem or write an anti-love poem.

Prompt: Take the title of a poem you especially like (by another poet) and change it. Then, with this new altered title, write a poem.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

The first time I was unfaithful
I ended up serving two-plus
years in the Army, sleeping
off the hangover from a year-long
fling with SoBe, her exotic,
uninhibited twin sister.

A few years later, there
was the one-night stand,
seduced by Austin, her distant
cousin, twice removed, less refined,
but with an accent to die for and
the kind of inner-beauty fairy
tales are written about.

There were others, including Virginia,
a beer goggles moment I still regret,
and when it was finally time to settle
down, I realized it would never work,
chose the quiet step-sister,
and lived happily ever after.

*****

A DANCE FOR JACKIE ROBINSON

I’d like to think I would have
been as strong as you, Jackie,
kept my head held high,
dignity intact and focus
on the game.

I would have stepped up to the plate,
tuned out the taunts and insults,
resisted the urge to strike back,
answering only with the sound of
my hustle, the crack of the ball
leaving my bat, or slap of leather
as it landed in my glove.

Would have earned the tears
shed over the years in honor
of what you accomplished.

I know I wouldn’t have, though,
that what made you special
was that you did what most
couldn’t, took on that burden
without complaint, without fail,
making it possible for me
to teach my son the game
without ever thinking someone
will tell him that he can’t play.

(based, loosely, on “A Dance for Ma Rainey” by Al Young)

2009 Poem-A-Day Challenge: The inimitable Robert Brewer — editor of Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market, and proprietor of the wonderful blog, Poetic Asides — is posting a daily prompt and I, along with numerous others, are commiting to write a poem inspired by that prompt.

Every. Day.

Full rules and info can be found here.


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