Carving History

Aunt Libby kept us both as our moms went off to work
Bonnie and I watched Captain Kangaroo together in the morning,
stifled giggles while pretending to take our afternoon nap
Her dad had been in the circus and taught her
to do tricks on a trapeze he put up in the car port.
Her mom always made us French toast.
Bonnie visited my dad when he had cancer,
came to my mom’s funeral fifteen years later
but I didn’t see her through my grief,
haven’t talked to her since

That grief pierced my soul. I took family leave from
the Indian firm where I worked as a tech writer,
9-11 happened just as I returned.
My department moved back to India; I lost my job.
But I was ready for a new profession,
so it turned out to be a blessing.
I never worked as a tech writer again

Unemployed and still grieving I sought
solace at Detroit Institute of Art
The Grecian art section housed my favorite sculpture,
Zephyr Dancing with Flora, a monolith of lithe youth in spring
Her breezy dress carved in marble seemed like alchemy.
How could a sculptor carve chiffon from stone?
How could losing a job be carved into a blessing?
How did I let a chasm be carved between me and my first best friend?  

The Day Twenty-one prompt asks you to write a poem in which you first recall someone you used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job you used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that you saw once and that has stuck with you over time. Finally, close the poem with an unanswerable question.

Photo of Zephyr Dancing with Flora is from the art collection at the Detroit Institute of Art


12 thoughts on “Carving History

    1. Thank you, Joan. I struggled with this one because the first three ‘requirements’ seemed so disjointed. But I played around with the ideas in my journal and this is what came out of it. Yesterday I didn’t think I could come up with anything and then I stumbled on a found-poem draft and it fell together pretty quickly. I couldn’t do it without my journal. Thanks for stopping by; I appreciate your kind words.


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