Day 16: Too Hard – What kind of poem is too hard to write? A love poem? A sestina? A poem about a subject you’ve been avoiding? Write a hard poem. Don’t worry about perfection or success, just give it a go.
You were there in the hospital
the moment I took my first breath.
You changed me, sometimes,
softly singing “Johnny B. Goode.”
You sat me down on a stone bench in the yard
and told me about my first family death.
You took us to the beach year after year,
and we summered the way a summer should.
By high school things changed,
and I felt I didn’t know you.
I tried, maybe too hard,
to understand what was going on.
But by then,
the sever was starting to cut through.
And the time of me knowing
the true you began to dawn.
For ten years and more
we didn’t speak,
until out of the blue
you sent an e-mail.
And then appeared at a funeral,
where my defenses were weak.
We met for lunch,
but the conversation became stale.
Like a tiger
you changed not your stripes,
always putting others — and yourself —
before your own.
My guilt sometimes mounts
in so many different types
I turn myself to stone.
I hardly know you now,
and you don’t know me
or how strong I’ve become
because I’m my mother’s daughter.
So much you missed,
so much you won’t ever see
But to me,
it’s all just a bridge over water.