Monday, August 31, 2009


Child, I am writing to apologize,
though you cannot yet read,
for every moment I have been rough with you.

Seventeen years your senior,
I know too well the moments that
life will be rough with you. Without apology.

Child, I am writing to apologize,
though you may never remember,
for every time I have been impatient with you.

For the preschool rush, the hastiness
on with the shoes and out the door
for snatching you up and snapping you
into your booster seat, your little feet
swung from their spot before you could
examine the cicada in the driveway that scared you.

No doubt the largest insect you had ever seen,
it glistened holographic on the asphalt in the near-noon sun.

When I hurried you into the car and drove away,
dismissing your curiosity with a sharp lie:
"its just a big bug"
I failed to explain that fantastic root dweller
who emerges only once every seventeen years
to molt its skin and begin its adult life.

May you always have time and forgiveness.
May you be surrounded by people more willing
and worthy than me, to explain the trivial and fantastic-
ready to revel with you in the smallest wonders. 
May you blossom, emerging from this home
brilliant and beautiful to rise high above this asphalt,
and may you not wait 17 years to see another cicada.


nckhrkman said...

holy shit this is begging to be a villanelle. i know you hate rhyme and i know how hard villanelles are, but then you can tell suz that she was the subject of a villanelle and we both know how much she'll appreciate that when she grows up.

if that's too much to ask, i would also like to see the cicada be present very near the top if not in the title. i'd almost flip the poem upside down and try looking at it that way, with the exception of the last stanza (it should remain at the end). the end essentially repeats the beginning, only with a very wonderful scene of potentially kick ass details. really focus on that moment where she's scared of the cicada and you dismissing it. very perfect scene. just touch it up.

but oh my god please make this into a villanelle. it doesn't even need to be a rigid rhyme. try using an off rhyme to offset the heavy-handedness of it. we both hate kim addonizio, but i will give her credit for her deft handling of off rhyme. some of her rhyme schemes are almost completely hidden, unlike her hideous lower back tattoo.

villanelle. just do it.

nckhrkman said...

duh, it's already 9/10 of a villanelle. not sure why i didn't see that.

nckhrkman said...

haha, that sure does makes me look stupid.

Ambition Bird said...

that was completely unintentional.
I didn't see it either.

Holy shit.
I subconsciously wrote a villanelle.