I will admit, through gritted teeth, I miss—and mourn—the poetry unit. This sentiment is strange indeed, for I do consider myself to be a grander writer of fiction, and although I respect poetry and understand its’ appeal, I tend to detest the act of creating it on most days. What a funny thing it is, because as soon as I need not write poetry any longer, I suddenly have the incentive to do so!
As a product of this grudging realization, I have written poetry with sad fingers during class, as we speak of, admire, and discuss stories by Bernard MacLaverty, Italo Calvino, and Edward P. Jones. Through bouts of impulse I scrawl haphazard lines of prose, swimming in and out of structured language and the opposite. I am inclined to write poetry now, and yet the words I write are absolutely and utterly vile: a disgrace to poetry itself. That is why I will share the poetry I wrote last semester, while I was under the influence of disgust and bitterness—somehow, I managed to conjure somewhat of a poem. Why can’t I seem to amalgamate words like I did not two months before now? This world is a cruel one.
She walks between a guided path,
Toes of lace, dipped in a bath
Of early morning breath of birds
It drips below her feet-cut thirds
And with the candle placed in her palm,
She twists the wax and hums a song,
Fit for a king, fit for a man
Of humble words, from South Sudan
She wanders to, from fro and back
With nothing left to whom she lacks.
O’ Anna knows she is forlorn
She has been, too, long since the mourn
When little boys breathed in her ears:
“Anna, O’ Anna, You have more tears!
You must go back to the weary tomb
Where lies your birdies, since the womb—
They call you now, they have since noon!”
And so she did, she upped and left,
With nothing but a mood; bereft
She felt as if she were not able
To see the light from which the sable
Dress she wore sucked away till drought
Past meaning; the past without
Her faith in what she knew as opposed
To Mordecai on the tip of her nose.
She wanted nothing but a small, brief taste
Of the bitter paste served once, with haste
Perhaps, she thought, it would be sweet
To add a bout of sick, petite
She’d read the words on paper-thin
Turned the ink before the tin
And once old Gideon had said enough
She’d turn back to the door; a bluff
Bite into the muted, whispered words
Flee again, past mountains, past birds
Back to the path she knew and heard.
Tess Horton, class of 2020