Poet as Witness and Maternal Poet are both themes that appear frequently in April’s work. And sometimes, things just end up there by accident.
A Thousand Gallons of Water
I watch the water pour over her,
spitting out of the ground, a
giant cement lizard, hoping
the recycled and chlorinated
dreams of all those other
children won’t taint or poison
her. I feel shame at my own
shallow need that she wear
shoes. She stubs her toes, I lie,
even as I tell her one more
time to play with them on, as
if shoes can protect her from
all the sores and heartache.
I wish I could splash, be happy
and naked and shrug off a
stubbed toe, be a three-year-old
with a Quik Trip cup and a
thousand gallons of water.
- Sand River (2013)
I dared you
to eat a cockroach
because we’d finished How to Eat Fried Worms.
that all made sense,
that you would eat
and become super cool,
crunching the exoskeleton
like kettle-cooked chips. But you couldn’t bring it
to your mouth
and a thousand days later,
I can’t really blame you.
But I wonder if maybe we shouldn’t have done it,
all those summers ago,
just to say
- Fall 2013, Honorable Mention, Whispering Prairie Press, Kansas City Voices.
Counting down, day twenty-one, rolling around on the floor
in concentric, yogic patterns, all in a futile attempt to convince
baby to shift from right to left.
If gestation is any indication of future personality,
this child may be Nixon.
I lose my words somewhere between dinner and Wheel of Fortune.
Day seventeen, baby is still rightly lodged,
back pressed firmly against ribs, so determined
to make her own room, flutter of feet visible
under the dome of my torso.
I’ve given up trying to look anything other than pregnant.
We watch my stomach more closely than television.
Today I am a list, long and full of groceries
I will forget to put in meals.
I am a full balloon stuffed with flour and dried corn pellets.
I am the drum, full round thrum of reverberations,
down through a future history not yet written,
a mother among a million other mothers,
waiting the last few moments before a new child enters the world,
A cliché in all its repetitions,
the rhythmic flare of a marching snare,
such a shattering new thing,
a quiet pebble dropped in still waters.
- Chiron Review (2015)