November poem-a-day project

Last year, as November was approaching, I seriously considered taking part in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The goal is to write an entire 50,000 word novel during the month of November. Here is more information about it:

As much as I love fiction, I have never written any myself, so I was intimidated. But I do like and write poetry, so I decided to do my own poetry challenge, which last year consisted of one poem a day for the 30 days of November. It went well and I ended up having them collected into a book which I gave to each of my kids and a few friends for Christmas.

For this year, November, I have decided to again write a poem a day. I have learned that it is a great way to give your creativity a jump start (last November I actually wrote over fifty poems during the month). The plan is to post them daily here on this blog. I think that ups the challenge a bit knowing that there may be people reading them. I do not claim to be a very good poet, but I do enjoy the process and it is quite cathartic for me. I hope you enjoy them. Maybe next year I’ll have the nerve to try a novel.

November 1, 2016

It’s the day of the dead,

and I’m not sure what that means,

something about welcoming back

the spirits of dead children.

I don’t think I know any dead kids,

but I do know this—it’s a delicious day,

this day of the dead, with a platter of

chilaquilas in the middle of the table,

the tender egg, the crunchy tortillas,

the chili pepper, smoothed out with a touch of cheese,

and a bowl of smoky salsa passed around

with a plate of avocados,

the silky pale green flesh

lightly mashed, cooling

and soft, top off this

day of the dead meal,

this bright and cheery

interlude splattered across our day.


She can’t not celebrate, and so

we celebrate too, even though

we aren’t sure what we are celebrating,

the dead kids and their spirits I suppose.

I see a troupe of them dressed in white

smiling and waving as they scamper bare-footed

up a dirt path seeking out moms and dads

and aunts and uncles and siblings.

We don the masks and eat the food,

and take photos and smile

because she takes such

pleasure in the kitchen, and

now my mouth has this pleasant

glow from the peppery chilies and

I sit wondering what will come next

from her kitchen, and what the kids

will do now that their day is over.

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