National Poetry Month

Inspired by Black History month, The Academy of American Poets  worked with a variety of interested parties including teachers, publishers, booksellers, librarians, and of course poets to figure out the many ways poetry could be celebrated.  They concluded April was a great month for the celebration, and on April 1, 1996, President Bill Clinton proclaimed April to be National Poetry Month. 

 

Following the Academy’s lead, Writers’ Morning Out has posted a poem-a-day during April since WMO’s inception in 2010.

“To Mis-Carry” by Elizabeth Callahan Steiner

“I want her back when you’re done.”
They will toss you out, flush you down.

 

They won’t know to stop when my Grandpa’s eyes –
like sky – are there.
And your nose? They won’t know.
That’s your daddy and sister –
right there!

 

“I want her back when you’re done.”
Forty-five minutes of waiting
stacked next to the three months
I carried you.
The brown hands of a nurse handing me hospital Tupperware.

 

“I want her back when you’re done.”
Tucking you right there in the safety of me.
Self-preservation not letting me look,
but little by little my warmth breaking through coldness.
Carrying you home to the wood of our kinfolk:
Loblolly tall and Maple wide.
Scrubby Oak to decorate your spot
with acorn crowns.

 

“I want her back when you’re done.”
Your daddy – muddy with earth –
Your sister and I searching the hills and
bases of trees for marble quartz.
Sweating out our grief that day.

 

“I want her back when you’re done.”
At church it starts and keeps up
through five hymns.
Two creeks flowing, meeting up
at my chin and falling into two open palms:
waiting for the Good Lord to dry them up
so we can pass on dry land.

 

“I want her back when you’re done.”
In the by and by.

 

 

 

 Previously published with Literary Mama, 2017

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