Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Catered Grief - a minute poem, plus a surprise contributor. #NationalPoetryMonth

Springtime sends me mixed messages. So much is growing, blooming, bursting its way out of the ground, but so many loved ones have found their way back in. My sister died 18 years ago on the night of the Vernal Equinox. This month marks the dates of four of our family friends. All five passed well before their expiry dates.

So when Allison Joseph challenged us to "write a poem about the food you ate during a period of mourning," this one came to me so quickly, I decided to write it in the form of a "minute poem.*" This one's for Sally, Timory, Nick, Jane and Ella.

Catered Grief
Casserole with mayonnaise, from Modern Mom.

The casseroles with mayonnaise
we ate for days
and shared with friends
until wake's end.

We dug into each cold dessert
like shoveled dirt.
We buried cries,
accepted lies

that we would one day heal from this.
So far from bliss,
we ate with haste.
We couldn't taste.

My friend Judi has also been swayed by Allison's prompts. I asked her to send me whatever she has written, and this morning was delighted to discover that she used the same prompt to springboard into this incredible, visceral, moving poem, which she gave me permission to share.  Thank you so much for letting me post it here, Judi!

The brothers had Wild Turkey.
Drinking together.
The sorrow was deep.
Here, a sundae comforts.
Memories of heaping bowls of ice cream, nuts and
Fudge, softening in boiling water.
Eating alone
The bracing cold blanketing
The deep sorrow.

-Judi Korpi Webb

*If you're curious, a minute poem is a strict form that consists of 12 rhyming lines of 60 syllables, written in iambic meter. It has three stanzas with 8,4,4,4 syllables and the rhyme scheme is aabb ccdd eeff. Play with this form or others. If you like what you have, please share it with me in the comments. I would love to read your work. Thank you!

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