Three Unfinished Poems


Part of my purpose in keeping this blog is to document some writing samples. I want to approach some prompts and preset some works-in-progress just to get comfortable putting my work out there…and hopefully one day in journals.

My goal is to have a different sample up every month. This month, I have three poems I’ve been wrestling with over the past month.

This is where we start practicing vulnerability. I’m not a poet, but these vignettes weren’t manifesting themselves as short stories…one of them isn’t really manifesting itself as a poem well either and is probably actually an essay, but I’m a firm believer in the rule of three.


Walking, the autumn sun was uncharacteristically warm in the contrast
of your lanky shadow draped across me like a dad-borrowed blazer on
my shoulders, eagerly placed on the walk home from a jr. high dance.
We, in the moment, too pleased with our luck of being away from your
meathead friends and chaperone eyes, to notice the inelegance of us.

My rib cage filled with cotton balls, the lightness rotating inside me with
each step, as I hopscotched your long leg lines across the graveled path.
You seemed to glide, tall and erect, as I wallowed in the thirteen year-old
feeling wondering if I wanted to hold your hands. They had carried a lot
since your gym dance days and mine had been too open to carry anything.

Judging whether it’s still appropriate to arrange for my best friend to give
Your best friend a note: Check yes or no—because maybe we had something
right at thirteen. Maybe we were supposed to risk, to ask and fail rather than
rehearse the fall once the leaves cleared. The walk feels cold without your
shadow-jacket on my shoulders, the note in the pocket check-marked “or.”

Screen door poem II

The screen door slap was the exclamation point to our fragment.
My wineglass rattled, straddling the uneven slats of the rough table
And my eyes blinked as the slam-noise silenced my rolling brain.

Tracing the knots of the table wood, I try to trace where we started,
where we turned to end up with your chair flat on its back and my
napkin wet with mascara. Out of breath, I blot and blink on the cotton.

Blink in surprise that you’d leave when the results returned negative,
blink in prayer the door spring-echoing open would bring you back in,
blinked in relief that I wouldn’t have to follow through at your side.

But I sit here still—now in the royal blue dark, the wine glass gulped dry.
And I can’t bring myself to admit I’m wrong when hurt sits across in the
upturned chair, our statement unresolved—like an em dash waiting for—

Wisdom Lost

I have never been more aware of the gaping holes in my head, like
the clam whose pearls were stolen, drawn to aching openness—
air split across the hole making ache rather than lilt of fife-tweets.
High tide and the world flattened to echoing sonar in the dark.

Necessary entrance, but hesitant and unwanted attention chancing
the hopeful irritant, the salt of sand makes naught of pearl-value.
The puss of a gape-hole left to fester with the constant tongue push.
Fog does clear, world tilting open to find blood, gauze, and nothing.

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