A POEM A DAY

I'm just happy to be here.

Tag: napowrimo

25/30: THIRTY-FIVE INCHES TALL

Jessi picks up a crayon with purpose.
Every color is her favorite color.
She talks a sing-song of thoughts
under her breath,
washing
the white paper sky
ignoring the lines,
she orbits around
with color after color,
determined to create.
I ask her, what she created
and she answers,
This is what I created!
I laugh and tell her to keep going.
It is Saturday afternoon and
Jessi is the color of joy.
We paint the day together.
She asks if I’m going to color
with her,
and I pick up a crayon
like an old friend.
She laughs like a color wheel.
It sounds like my favorite color.
Reminds me of my brother,
her father, and when we were boys,
we would do everything together.
Now his daughter is in my house,
three years old, thirty-five inches tall.

 

14/30: The Path You Leave Behind Is A Line In A Poem The Universe Wrote About You When You Thought You Were Alone

Keep going.

11/30: I WON’T WORRY MY LIFE AWAY

In the sixth grade, if we got up early enough,
my mom would take my brother Brent and me before school
to Round Rock Donuts,
with enough change in our pockets
we didn’t have to walk into the morning
empty-handed.
we bought donut-holes by the bag
the orange icing, its own little sun—
it is the perfect bite.
A ritual, I would come to learn,
are small blessings on a schedule.
Back then, in the mornings, Brent rode shot gun,
a birth right in my family
and that meant the radio belonged to him.
And most mornings, it was 96.7 KISS FM
with Bobby Bonez as the DJ –
Prince of the Round Rock Airwaves
spinning top 40 hits for the youth of America.
I remember The Remedy by Jason Mraz
playing every single morning for weeks.
I had it memorized by the end of day 3
I won’t worry my life away
I won’t worry my life away

The morning car ride to school
meant we were lucky enough not to ride the bus
it was a ritual.
Whenever it played,
the backseat became a sunrise symphony
a boy bursting his lungs
free to sing
without judgment and without interruption.
You can turn off the sun but I’m still gonna shine.
That line can probably explain
why my light shines the way it does
without judgement and without interruption.
Never knew a shadow I couldn’t overpower since then,
What my mom thought, who knows.
She was on her way to work,
She was dropping her sons off at school.
She had a mission, a purpose.
Meanwhile, I found joy in the in-between.
Another ritual,
my own remedy.

10/30: Today’s Perfect Moment

For Adela, my fiance.

Happened on Harrisburg
five minutes from home
with your hand in mine
The sky was alive behind
the downtown Horizon.
Pink light dripping
from the overgrown Oaks.
Oh, the beauty of a sun’s goodbye.
I did not trust my memory
to hold this moment
without ruining it.
That’s when you tell me
to take a picture, and so I do.
You are outside the frame,
smiling the way you do.
When we get home,
I post the photo on Instagram
with the caption
Today’s perfect moment.
Then I wrote this poem.

9/30: NEVER A CURSE

Cutting squash and zucchini
I’m talking to my mom on the phone
listening to her tell me about her day
at the end of the day. I called her
because today is my grandpa’ Fred’s birthday.
He turns 79.  I was not there to celebrate you,
grandpa, like the years before, surrounded by family,
where we ate BBQ, and cake made just for us,
both April babies, blowing out candles and
laughing forever. Today, my gratitude shines through.

And yet, on this same day, I cannot find the words.
It’s been a year since my grandma passed.
Her name was Theresa.
I was not there to say goodbye.
It’s been a year since one of my best friends passed.
His name was Keaton.
I am still grieving
Not yet ready to give a voice
to that quiet monster.
This is so new.
My grief and gratitude,
sitting in the same room.
Listening to my mom
laugh over the phone,
as I ask her who
all I’m supposed to invite
to the rehearsal dinner.
I’m getting married in December
to the woman I love. I will always
choose this life. Even when I don’t have
the right words. Yeah, it’s strange
to carry so many emotions at once
But I consider it a blessing.
Never a curse.

 

 

8/30: FOR HONEST JIMMY AT THE WAL-MART ON YALE

This is a poem for Jimmy
at the Wal-Mart on Yale
who delivered groceries to my car today
and taught me a lesson for free
No one tells you what to say after you
ask someone how their day is going
And they respond with
not so good.
That happened to me today
at the Wal-Mart on Yale.
As I put the frozen pizza in my backseat,
I asked Jimmy how he was doing
and he told me it was a not so good day
Shook his head and took a breath
Explaining that everyone called in sick today
and he was 1 of 3 people handling all the groceries
answering phones all day from strangers
asking him to do his job faster
He goes onto say,
When I get in a rush and try to speed up,
I make mistakes, and I hate making mistakes.
And I want to say anything to make him feel better
I imagine the strange anger he’s had to swallow today
in the name of customer service. But mostly,
I want to thank Jimmy for his honesty
for keeping it real and not burying how he feels
just because it was inconvenient.
I want to tell him how many mistakes I’ve made
in the course of a single day, just so he knows
he isn’t alone — not today or tomorrow.
I wish it were easier to leave a bad day behind
Wish it didn’t always take up so much space.
But of course, I didn’t say any of this to Jimmy.
Not sure if would’ve changed a thing. I will say,
when Jimmy walked away, the last thing he said to me was
I hope you have a good day.

7/30: Ode To My Newfound Grey Hairs

You exist in the deep night of my hair
despite the sunshine outside
When I bemoan your existence,
and attempt to remove you from my life
my fiance warns me against it.
I don’t even think about you until
I’m standing in front of the mirror
watch my hand get lost in the
Pitch-black battleground
that is my skull
only to find you all there
my newfound grey hairs
little knights in shining armor
like waning crescent moons
silver seeds that stress sowed
I thank you
for being a tiny blessing
that continues to grow back
evidence of change
the proof of time passing
that things won’t always be
the same.

6/30: TODAY

Today I am and nothing more than that.
Contemplation offers no cure the present cannot fix.
Whatever hurt I had I no longer hold.
I am no longer filled with yesterday’s pain.
To become who I wanted took so much time.
I will be who I worked to become.
I promise to continue the work every day.
Today I am trusting who I still have time to become.

5/30: GENERATIONAL WEALTH OF A DIFFERENT KIND

For most Mexican-American families
our only heirlooms are stories. Sometimes,
a cross carved by hand or found at a garage sale.
Maybe enough saint candles
for a small, simple miracle.
A box of photos, an album perhaps.
if you’re lucky enough.
Or some old, faded jewelry from a lovestory
that probably played some part
in your small, simple existence.
The best part of every story, of course,
belongs to the voice that told it,
echoing through time,
the tales of our bloodline
paraphrased through generations
a legacy in its own right
and a gift for the next one, if done right.
The second best part of the story, of course
belongs to the recipes we can only hope to recreate.
Not every recipe is a story, but most are.
Recipes are passed down like spells,
the tales of our bloodline.
The specific amount of each ingredient?
Only a myth,
which is its own source of pride.
Counting the heirlooms, I lose my breath
trying to keep count.
I know it is a responsibility; carrying
a family’s history to the present.
To leave a legacy worth retelling.
Something for tomorrow.

4/30: In the Month of April (For Adela)

After Robert Bly

In the month of April, when the rain blesses us,
notice the song it makes. Like today, a chorus
kept me awake. All morning, kept me from dreaming
away the bad news telling us nothing is the same as it was.
I see a world afraid of stillness, asked to be still and hold its breath.
Then I understand— I love you with what in me is still hopeful.

I love you with what in me is unmovable.
So hold my hand in the rain. Hold my hand in the morning.
Hold my hand in Costco. Hold my hand in the dark. Trust me:
in times like these, the only place to be is next to you.
In the early morning hours, we rediscover our arms
as branches, outstretched like the oak tree outside our house.

Just this morning, you wake up before the rain wakes me.
Slide your body out of bed and across the hardwood,
disappearing into the dim blue room. And I am perfectly
still, in a world afraid of stillness, disappearing
back into the subconscious, stretching this simple moment
into a thousand more just like it.