Today at Meeting the Bar: Critiquing & Craft, Luke Prater has brought Julie Watkins by to help us poets with those big issues so many of us love to write about. Birth, death, loss…all those wonderful, emotional whirlwinds us humans are subjected to…and us poets just love to embrace as muse. But how do we make it different, how do we make it stand out, how do we let OUR voice shine through? Heaven knows there isn’t a poet past or present who hasn’t taken on tackling such defining moments? Let’s see what we can get spinning over at dVersePoets… and in the mean time, feel free to read of one of my own, “defining moments”.
Growing up next door to three vile little boys
meant some learning would come pretty quick for me.
The wonders that would be discovered
behind rotten barn doors, over mud pies and invisible champagne.
Beyond the wonders, even at that age
came condescending snickers, cause we all know
the girls could never keep up with the boys.
Beyond that rotten barn, where untamed wheat grew to grass
And snakes and toads danced amongst the cattails
of a long forgotten pond, now turned swamp
our fathers would hunt, in season or not.
And three vile little boys would celebrate their kills
when the crack of the rifle would echo into the night,
And this little girl, so much like a girl,
would cower deep under her covers and cry for the kill
but they never knew
On afternoons before supper and after a good days learning
we’d be allowed to play together,
in mud puddles and rock piles.
We’d fight till we were bleeding,
bloodied and bruised and to the victor went the Mount
where he could stand and shout with glee
“I’m the king of the castle, and you’re the dirty rascal”
There was never a Queen, until the day I reached the Mount
and shirt torn, pig tails askew
I stood above them all and made them eat the dirt
they had thrown in my face to take the fight out of me.
They had never planned to let me win but
30 years later the rock piles are bigger
the risk of the fall at times overwhelming.
Around boulders of granite, on beds of loose pebbles.
I remember my five year old legs
and the godly strength they had, despite bruised knees,
band-aids and black fly scars.
30 years later, as I take my crown,
they rush to find cover as I send the rocks rolling,
knocking their feet out from under.
They stare in disbelief, this unsuspecting Queen
Because even as men, they had not planned to let me win,
But I did.