readwritepoem prompt

A Cat by Any Other Name

when my daughter was ten,

maybe eleven,

she told her father and me,

when I'm grown I'm going to

change my name to

Tigress Exotica

my daughters will be called

Girl in Class

two desks over, she’s
skirting the edge
peripheral vision edge
keeps me glancing over
on the edge of my seat
blue d

Who Am I?

when you come to Portland


you might wake up one morning


Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie

The lights of the galaxies are strung out over a dipper of gin

certainly the start of a poem Joan Miró can sink his teeth in

cause you know Miró says poetry, painting are

White Bike

The white bike leans against a tree on Stark

It gleams in the dark and calls out

why don't you look where you're going

the white bike sees red pools on the carpet,

Rocio's Going Away Party

Rocio would have approved.

Mission Accepted

On today's hike the girl limps along an

uncertain path, startling a deer in the brush.

It bounds away, and she glimpses only a

flash of white above a sinewy hind leg.


A falcon soars overhead, a small mouse

clutched in its talons.

So unlike the pack of turkey buzzards with

their fleshy red wattles stuck in a holding

pattern over a distant hilltop.

So unlike the familiar hummingbird in

her backyard, hovering next to the

Daphne bush, whose tiny wings flap so

fast they are almost imperceptible.


How Can I Count the Ways?

When grandson scrapes his leg on a barbed wire fence,

love smells like blood and alcohol and two Sponge Bob

bandages used to gently cover the cut and calm his fears.


When my sisters and I return from our mother's funeral,

loves sounds like the twenty-four cannonballs you make

into the neighbor's backyard pool and the squeal of

our children's laughter.


Love feels like crossing a marathon finish line

for the first time. Sore, exhausted, exquistely happy,

and seeing in your face the reality of a piggy-back ride

What do we want? Justice. When do I want it? After You.

a 1970's demonstration students workers against the cutbacks take over admin

building sit crowded cramped cross-legged listen to speeches blocking a door when

Mary Meek and Mild

The infant suckles her breast

much like my baby suckled mine,

biting the nipple, tugging her

blouse with two hands.

I always felt frustrated,

enough already, you

greedy little bastard.

She ignores him and his

insistence. Placid, serene, she

chooses instead to ponder these

things in her heart.

It helps to wear a fucking halo.

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