Peanut Butter

I’ve been working on writing more poetry lately. Perhaps I’ve grown tired of the self-assuredness it takes to write blog posts. I just don’t feel like drawing easy conclusions or simplifying things. Plus, I find myself wanting to write about the same subjects over and over until I get it right, which doesn’t make for very fascinating blog writing.

Right now it takes me about a month to get a poem right-ish. It usually start with an idea that strikes me while I’m busy. I mull it over, write a rough draft that is usually a) far too self-serious and b) not completely honest about how I truly feel. I hack away at it, mostly in my thoughts while I’m doing other things, and then type it out in bursts on rare moments where my enthusiasm for writing and my free time coincide.

My attention has been drawn to small things lately. Here’s a poem about peanut butter and motherhood that’s been bugging me for weeks. I think it is finally starting to accomplish some of what I want it to accomplish, so I’m calling it “done” for now because I am at the stage where I want other people to see it and tell me what they think.

I’d love to hear what you think! Tell me what makes sense or what sticks out as strange. Or ask me questions about what I was going for. Every comment can help me move closer to getting it right. Or “crushing” it, as my daughter would say. (Pun intended.)

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Peanut Butter

by Laura Lundgren

She feels no less for having been crushed

into a simple, shelf-stable cylinder.

The mother I imagine is serene as peanut butter.

A thousand possibilities

Have been suspended

Beneath a foiled paper lid.

Preserved and cupboarded

In patient anticipation,

She waits to be useful.

 

I am a mother half-used up.

Peaks and canyons from hasty knife-work

are a sign as sure as footprints and flags

That someone has already claimed this jar.

I grow hollow.

 

I find it hard to swallow

disappearing into the bodies of my children.

Though I give myself over to being spread

Across raw-edged celery or softer bread,

I still cling to the corners of a rounded life.

I tell myself I am no less for having been gouged.

I am never so empty

That a small hand twisting

Would not find a mouth already forming the word

“okay.”

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