Friday, April 4, 2014


Muriel Rukeyser:
"The world is not made of atoms, but of story."

My father told me
I should be
top banana
no matter what

My mother told me
wearing a flimsy skirt
without a slip
was akin to prostitution

My sister said my legs were ugly
My boyfriend said "Don't hold my hand"
My professor said my idea was dumb
My boss told me I was way too bold

Then my husband told me
I was a loser who couldn't keep a job
and that if I drove my car off a cliff
he and the children would be happy

Suddenly I knew that
only a bonfire
was powerful enough
to burn those stories
so I lit a match
and fanned the fire
and blew, and blew, and blew

The neighbors quaked in fear
it was a 12-alarm blaze
sirens blared through the night
awakening the children

I laughed and cried and clapped
before this bonfire of insanities
I twirled and danced, arms lifted
I swirled my swishy skirt

That fire
is still burning
and in its eerie glow
I hold a pen