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.

“Leukemia” by Mark MacAllister

 

Given snow in the forecast I called on my Midwest skills
topped-off the fuel tank for more weight between the wheels
bought half a ton of plastic-bagged construction sand
to load over the rear axle
and then headed to the hospital to pick up my father

 

newly-diagnosed he met me at the curb
with a clear sack of meds and a business card
for the oncologist in Raleigh

 

any number of doctors over the previous three days
came by to discuss his blood and its failings
left alone at night he slept poorly in the narrow bed
Marky he said the nightmares are just awful

 

he had quit the diminutive decades ago
after he called about my cousin’s suicide
he was bewildered that a college boy
the same age as me
would put himself at the center of such sadness

 

we drove to his house mute and uninterrupted
the lights on yellow flash the entire route
the load in the truck bed soon iced over

 

in the months that remained for him
I was again Mark with a son of my own
certain only of the weight taken on chosen or not
how it shifts in the slide and skid down the road

 

 

 

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