MJ blathers

dark poet who loves to laugh


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dad

(a pantoum)

broad-shouldered, tall – i looked up
mom cut his hair during the great depression
youngest of four sons
could take a joke, but expect retaliation

mom cut his hair during the great depression
conservative with money, liberal with love
could take a joke, but expect retaliation
snored so loud, neighbors closed their windows

conservative with money, liberal with love
youngest of four sons
snored so loud, neighbors closed their windows
broad-shouldered, tall – i looked up

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watercolor grays

infusion of indigo
with vibrant orange
on faintly puddled paper
spilling gray as colors
glide, combine
separate on narrow distinct
paths, creating edges
as of cumulus cloud
and recombine
storming to nimbus


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i’m sure

i struggled and screeched
as they carried me to the car
“my mommy is coming
i know she is”

and she was
trudging in shin-deep sudden
snow slanting against the wind
to pick me up
from William Cullen Bryant Elementary

“It’s all right, Mary Jane
we’ll send you home with Mrs. Peterka”
they said, prying my fingers
from the edge of the car door

“It will save your mom
the terrible walk
in this weather
Go now, dear”

i cried, pounding
on the window
of the back seat
of Mrs. Peterka’s car

we pulled away
just before mom
arrived
exhausted

exhas


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abandoned beachball

The vividly colored plastic mass lay crumpled in the corner of the studio.
“A beachball?” he guessed from bright red, and edge of violent yellow he could see.
She nodded, but continued at her painting.
“Used and tossed. We do that so easily, living in abundance. So often, we forget what had served us.”
His smile faded. He studied her painting again–especially the bruised edges–and then peered at her. This time intrigued, wanting to know more.


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our hole in their road

“You can’t”
we tell kids
handing them limits
that may well not be theirs
they hear
and define themselves
by our fears

only their courage pulls them
out of narrow confines
we drew for them

may we draw courage
to frame our warnings
positively
to give foundations
rather than holes
in the road