Sunday

Even the house can feel
the simmering approach
of another week.

I walk early,
stuffing one ear with stories
and leaving the other open
for birdsong.
The tops of the trees
knock together in the wind.

The morning fades
into thumps and piles
of laundry.
We give equal attention
to the couch and the dishes,
with mild motivation.
I make grocery lists
to confirm all that
can wait
another day.

The cavern of the afternoon
is accented
with sullen homework inquiries
and the festering drip of the faucet.

We are all trying to do
as much of nothing
as possible,
while still
being productive.

And eventually,
the savory evening
succumbs to the light.

~ Megan M. Codera

Expectations 

None of this is quite as we expected,
yet we cannot resist the urge to wonder
how tomorrow may hatch something unprotected,
and what was taken from today, we ponder.
You once thought you knew who you’d follow.
You once thought you knew how to succeed.
But given extra time, you just walk about and wallow,
searching between land and sky for the need.
All of this is out of your control now –
there’s no chance of stopping the rain.
You can change your dress and take a bow,
but you’re still on in the next refrain.
Is this anywhere near where you thought you would be
when you jumped ship and floated to sea?

~ Megan M. Codera

*NaPoWriMo poem prompt for Day 23: the sonnet.

Swerve

She slips on her skates
as the whir of a hummingbird
crosses the porch.
She’s seeking smooth slabs
of pavement in the empty spaces
by the park
and she can hardly wait
for me to find my shoes.

I remember that longing,
to just skate for hours and hours.

I hold a small hand
that isn’t gripping me for balance
this time.
I could let go
and she would just keep rolling,
without falling.
I could let go,
but I don’t.

We both scoff at the tragedy
of a quiet, deserted park
on a night like this,
still warm at seven
two weeks before May.

She rolls across the whole lot,
curving to avoid
the streams
of pine needles and cones.
She chats about school
while she tries quick turns
on the gradual hills.

The rest of the day
rolls away.

Then I get a flash
of the evening battles
at seven months,
so long ago,
and if I had just a glimpse
of seven years ahead,
to this skating stroll,
I could have handled
those evenings
with a little more grace.

She lands one more perfect rollout
on the practice hill
and then says we can
head back,
with a subtle, reluctant swerve.
She reflects on her technique
as we turn onto our street.

When we get back to the house,
she says she could tell
I was ready to come home,
but she could have skated
for hours and hours.

~ Megan M. Codera

 

Possibilities 

You have to want to wake
at this hour.
You cannot argue
with that moment
when you could easily sink
back into dreams;
no discussion.
You just get up.
Switch on minimal light
in each space you pass,
to allow your attention
to the morning
and not the mess.
You put on the kettle
for coffee or tea.
You feed the cats and
pause at the window
when the newspaper gets delivered
across the street.
Then you open the front door
and step onto the porch.
You hear early commuters
warming their cars
and cat fights.
The five o’clock train
pulls into the station
and the water’s ready.

~ Megan M. Codera

*NaPoWriMo poem prompt for Day 19: “Many years ago, ‘didactic’ poetry was very common – in other words, poetry that explicitly sought to instruct the reader in some kind of skill or knowledge, whether moral, philosophical, or practical. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write the latter kind of ‘how to’ poem – a didactic poem that focuses on a practical skill.”

We See What We Remember 

In the spring
of the mid-eighties,
you took us over the mountains
at three in the morning
to try to see
the comet
that won’t pass again
for another forty-five years
from now.
I slept on blankets
in the way, way back
of the wagon.
We pulled into
a look-out
with other families
and telescopes
we didn’t know.
The dark sky
grabbed all of us,
lit up with more stars
than I ever thought
possible
and a pull of energy,
I could not name.
We were above
the Columbia valley,
on the edge
of a one-shot moment
for most.
The highway
and the open sky
hushed the conversations,
but still the air
was electric.

I could not tell you
how the comet looked,
or even if
we saw it at all.
I must have foolishly
held the idea that I could
see it again
in my lifetime.
But either way,
it was up there.
And we drove over the mountains
at three in the morning
to try to see
the comet
that won’t pass again
for another forty-five years
from now,
long after you have gone.

~ Megan M. Codera

Pond Perspective 

What we find
in the shallows
is where we
begin.
Littoral growth
depends on
light and water
among toads, sunfish,
and other
growing things.
We can only hide
in the cattails and sedges
for so long
before
we grow curious
of what lies between
the watercress
and lilies.
We emerge and float
no further
than the pondweeds
to resist submersion.
When we drift
into the deep
open
water,
we risk growth,
as our roots
continue
to reach
for the bottom.

~ Megan M. Codera

NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 17: take a reference from your shelves and write a poem that incorporates at least ten words from your source. (Pond Life – A Golden Nature Guide)

 

Abandoned House

If we lived here,
we would see trees
from every window –
vertical lines
accented by the light
through the leaves.
If we lived here,
we’d gather
acorns and cones,
strips of bark and lichen.
We’d grow so accustomed
to the quiet
so much so
that the snaps
and howls of the forest
wouldn’t echo and crawl
into our rooms.
We’d shut the drapes
in the winter
and pile wood on the porch
for fires.
And in the summer,
we would abandon the house,
and spend most of our days
outside.
Some of the doors
might lose
their handles
and some of the rooms
might lose
their doors,
but out here,
the house is just a shelter
and the home
is outside,
among the trees.

~ Megan M. Codera

* NaPoWriMo poem prompt for Day 16: take the “Almanac Questionnaire,” which solicits concrete details about a specific place (real or imagined). Then write a poem incorporating or based on one or more of your answers. 

Twice as Long

Half way to habit,
half way to
too late
to turn
back around.
This is where
we double
the expectations
just to accept
the weight of
failing
falling
finding
a rhythm
you might not
understand.
The world needs
all kinds
of rhythms –
rain on pavement,
rain on leaves.
This trail
may not
come out
where you expect.
It may be thick
with cedar branches
that reach
like they will grab you
and you may have to
step over
the horse dung.
You may come out
onto gravel roads
where they have dumped
old fences and furniture,
and you may want
to turn around
or find
another trail.
One part of you
steps through
scotchbroom
while the other
listens
for the road.

~ Megan M. Codera