Poetry

Click here to hear Wilderness read her poem, “Faith In A Time Of Melancholy,” on WCAI Poetry Sunday

Click here to hear Wilderness read her poem, “Old Women Talking,”

Old Women Talking

We’re talking shyly about
how we still enjoy orgasms.
We’re talking about having no interest
in sex,
never have.
We’re talking about how rough he is.
How gentle he is.
How he is too fast and it hurts.
How he keeps asking if it feels good.
How loud we scream with pleasure
and later worry if the neighbors heard.
We’re talking about how much better
it is with a woman.
And we’re glad we found this out before
we passed through this life.
We’re talking about how wonderful
love is, no matter who you love.

We’re talking about our wrinkles,
how each line is a sign
of wisdom earned.
We’re talking about our wrinkles,
how it will cost $16,000
to look ten years younger.
We’re talking about feeling invisible,
how people look past us
as if we have something catching.
We’re talking about how excited
the grandchildren get to see us.
And how the children love
to paint with us,
dance with us,
sleep cradled in our arms.

We’re talking politics.
We’re worried about the environment
and immigration, and human rights.
We’re telling jokes.
We’re praying to the ancestors.
We’re singing show tunes, jazz, hip hop.

We’re crying about the little boy
in our church
who got diagnosed with cancer.
We’re celebrating because
now he is cancer-free.

We’re talking about being friends forever
and how forever goes by too quick.
How we have already said goodbye
to too many forever friends
and it’s just so damn sad
to have to die.
We’re talking about how every day
is a good day to die
and that dying will be a new adventure
in a life full of adventures.

We’re talking, old women talking . . .

 

Just Say Yes!

Do you think it’s possible that every poem you write
is really the same poem, even when you think
you’re writing about something else? When I look at what I’ve written,
hundreds of poems, I see death lurking:

washing and singing prayers over my friend’s still body

cutting my mother’s yellowed concrete toenails when she no longer knew who I was

the water snake eating a bullfrog butt first

chanting names of the deceased at Auschwitz

young black men and women killed by those assigned to keep the peace

my own wrinkles, crepe paper skin, and fear of dementia

Do you, too, love this life so much that you want
to learn to love that part also? That mysterious
passing from everything you know into all you do not know?

Do you, too, pretend death won’t happen, tell your friend
how sure you are that she’s going to get well even though
she has stage four metastatic breast cancer?

What do you propose we do about this thing that will claim
us all? Can we learn to say
Yes
and mean
Yes?

I don’t mean right now though it may be now ,
Yes.
And I don’t want it to hurt but,
Yes,
it might hurt. Or to be unjust but
it might be unjust,
Yes.

If you were promised that a
Yes
wouldn’t open a door to make it come sooner
than it would have otherwise, would you say
Yes?

No pressure, but think about it.

I’m really trying to say
Yes.

God Damn It
Yes!

Click the links below to online journals where you can see Wilderness’ published poems:

Poet of the Week, Poetry Superhighway, February 4-10, 2019

#MeToo: Monthly Review December 2018

#MeToo: Awakened Voices, 2018

I Won’t Be Like My Mother: Beech Street Review

How Can This Happen: Persephones Daughters

Ordinary Moments & Belonging To Sand: Poetry Breakfast

Just Say Yes: Algebra of owls

Sterotyping Is A Psychological Disorder: Writers Against Prejudice

If I Was: Silver Birch Press

Truth Be Told & Truth Be Told, Reframed: The This Magazine

Only The Body Understands: Awakened Voices

Temples of Genocide: Poetry Superhighway

No Escape: Poetry Superhighway

Click the links here to see my poetry published in print journals:

#MeToo: Monthly Review December 2018

Apple Pie: 2018 Mizmor Anthology

Turning 65: Crazy Lit Magazine, January 2017

My Mother’s Truth: Passager Books Winter, 2017, Issue 62

Charity: Wising Up Press, the Kindness of Strangers Anthology, 2016

Bubby: Dove Tails Refugees and the Displaced, 2017

Homage: Off The Coast Poetry Journal, Spring 2014