Last prompt for a half-marathoner…

The Melting of Molly by Maria Thompson Davies
(an erasure poem)

Melting Molly
________________________

Twenty
and full –
and nobody
did anything for me

tying
up a dancing, frolicking
colt of a girl
with a ponderous bridle –

God
didn’t see me, and not caring
what happened to me
in this world

He
put me out
for contempt
of court.

The
town didn’t
mean anything by
chastening my spirit –

of
that, I feel sure.
It settled itself
here in a valley

a
few hundreds of
years ago and has been
clucking over its

affairs
ever since.
The houses set
back with their

wings
spread out and
mothers go on
hovering even to the third

generation.
Young, long-legged
boys scramble out
of the nests

and
decide to grow up –
where the crow
will be heard

by
the world

one
of them.

Prompt 14, Hour 11

Dear Cristy, Sitting at the Hairdressers, 1984
___________________________________________

Don’t do it!
Only two days before the drive
across the Rockies,
through the pass

a ferry ride
to the island, then drive
up the curving highway

home to my second home –
back to Comox
for your wedding.

(Thankfully, your marriage continues
to outlast my hairstyles)

I repeat – don’t do it!
Days before the practice –
the walk down the aisle
to turn and smile as
you make your way

to the future. The photos
that night, in your parent’s
basement – the photos
on THE DAY – pink

and burgundy.
Your long, blonde locks;
your sister’s long, blonde locks –
80’s hair, where everyone

had long, softly curled locks.

Don’t do it!
Days before the wedding,
before the play-list of your
favourite songs, before the food

tables lined with pot-luck
favourites
before the first
dance…

don’t let that beady-eyed
hairdresser shear your
longer than shoulder-length
hair to just above your ear –

don’t let that nasty-toothed
hairdresser put your silky
auburn locks in
little orange rollers,

permed to a
tightness
forever captured
on polaroid –

that belies
your spirit.

Prompt 13, Hour Ten

gone with the wind
_______________________

she appreciates the concrete –
terra firma beneath her feet

the fir-lined horizon
a welcome sight

after so long at sea –
a wandering bark

blue on blue
for months on end

(interrupted only by a hush
of whispers in the fog)

no place to dock
until today – now she stands

coffee and a moonbeam
in hand, the canteen

teeming with fishermen
buying tackle and bait

but they’ll have to wait,
put their advances on the shelf

with her coffee cup –
only the wind at her back

(that damn sea-spray
calling her by name)

only the wind at her back
– always leaving

Prompt for Hour Nine

The Great Alone
_________________

How heavy is the world?
You asked your dad
before realizing it
weighed him down

How far to the moon?
You asked your mom
before knowing its
vastness consumed her

How is want, a brother
And need, a sister?
You asked the universe before
blowing out your birthday candles

How full are my dreams?
You asked yourself
before facing
the great alone

Prompt Ten, Hour Eight

Youth is when your skin is soft,
your drive hard and your mind,
somewhere in between

It is luscious afternoons of mingling
body heat, the expanse of new experiences,
and bonfires at the beach until the break of dawn

… then you wake to find a grey hair.

Prompt 9, Hour 7

tomorrow is a party
_________________

thank you for your un-
assuming tune,
your quiet reminder
that even during

droughts of humanity
there are epiphytes –
coiled in their nests,
waiting; biding putrid

seasons to become
robust again. and
when we come
once more to spring

we will
step out,
donning our pearls
and new shoes.

Prompt For Hour Six

from there to here
__________________________

yes, your fingers bled on the cotton
you tripped over words like
jello and jump
a breathy silence beginning
your father’s name
jesus – not the son of…
but more like that
other god: ‘hey, zeus’

your friends were sent home
in the 50’s while you stayed –
wearing flour-sack dresses,
eating tamales
and wondering
how the future
would look different
than it did that day

never expecting
a repeat of history
more blatant than
the last and
while you wrestle
with this new order
your daughter writes poems
in a canadian city

where she was born
with snow angels
and hope
the colour of
every skin –
your people
a story bigger
than these words can hold

Prompt Five

the unraveling
_______________

ill-lit
the space cramped
i feel my way
with shaking hands

un-
familiar, earth damp
knowing i’m
not in command

of my thoughts.
the direction unknown
i travel forward
for nights on end

memories
upturned, not sown
a fork in the brain
begins the bend

folding,
like a poker hand
grip slips
the loss is real

fading food
like hourglass sand
heavy, weighted
winter’s peel

banana…
beach…
thick…
snow drift.

prompt for hour four

you are there
___________

city sky
with only
a smattering of stars

no wonder

our dreams have shrunk
to rectangular ones
we hold in our hands.

to see the infinite –
a place surpassing
limits

we are

but specks in
the vastness
where possibilities abound
so much more

than we can know –
how to reclaim
this view

in tune

with its song, would we fight
harder to save this tree, that
that whale, those elephants

because

they matter
as much as the billion stars
we no longer see.

they are there

though just out of sight –
ether of our minds stretched
to hold all that is conceivable

a truth

worth striving for.

Prompt 3

a borrowed view
________________

today the wind –
eclipsing bird speak as each claims space
along cedar bough or fence post

against the greying sky –
wing beats of a fly like a
bow-tied helicopter

a hailstorm of chestnut –
husks knocking against the
deck and my head

who eats your leaves –
weaves a trace of light
trickling down

startling shock of pink –
inks your petals now bursting
forth fuschia

wafting sea-salt –
seaweed scented
air

and stalks of rhubarb –
harbouring memories of brown sugar
afternoons

in a time gone by

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