Thursday, January 11, 2018

After 30 Years, I Write a Poem

Dear Reader,

Now that I've practiced my literary confessions a couple of times, I think I'm getting the hang of it. So here goes something.

When I was in my twenties I joined the US Peace Corps and worked in West Africa as an English teacher at Lycee Korundaga, in Zinder, Niger. Many things happened during that time that still impact who I am now, 30 years later. The book I'm working on now goes back to that time and takes a look around.

This poem, published in Qu Literary Journal yesterday, took me 30 years to write. Qu is a Canadian journal that publishes on-line and in print. The editors have worked hard to make sure that I'm happy with how the poem looks. It feels very strange to have this poem in the world. Finally, after 30 years.

Post Abortion Questionnaire Powered By Survey Monkey

1. Do you feel reluctant to talk about the subject of abortion?
In the center of the ceiling a marigold weeps
or perhaps it’s an old chandelier.
Inside, there’s an interior glow,
shards illuminated in violet-pink 
and layers of peeling gold leaf. 
Such minds at night unfold.

2. Do you feel guilt or sorrow when discussing your own abortion?
The cabbage is a blue rose, 
an alchemical strip show. They scream 
when dragged from the earth
only to find themselves plunged into boiling water. 
The narrative unscrolls from cells
of what-ifs and hourglass hopes. 

3. Have you found yourself either avoiding relationships or becoming 
overly dependent in them since the abortion?
If I could unhinge myself from myself,
attach to bookshelves, sever
my tongue, I would watch
as it grew back, rejuvenated
and ready to speak.                               to continue reading, click here


  1. I saw this on Facebook and loved it. Nice to be able to say so here, too.

  2. Thanks, Ren! As you can read, this was a tough one to send out into the world, a tough one to write. This will be in my next book and I was so trying not to have to write it...Such a surprise that it is getting such a strong reception. I'm amazed.