April Fools (NaPoWriMo 1)

April is National Poetry Writing Month and, challenged once again by my friend Edward Van Vliet, I will attempt to post a poem a day this month. If past years are any indication I will fail, but come away with some words I’m grateful for.

This year I’ve given myself a rough framework. I am going to write a poem in response to the “memories” surfaced by Facebook and my phone’s photo albums. I’ll take something that happened on this day in some past year and pull at the seam until a poem unfurls.

This doesn’t mean the poems will be autobiographical or even true, only that my own “memories” will be the springboard to who-knows-where.

Let’s begin.

Facebook Memory from April 1, 2015

April Fools

Add April 1 to the list of Covid casualties

I want to be fooled
To be surprised into heaving laughter
But nothing is surprising anymore

Consider a list of
Former impossibilities

School will closed for months
I am now a teacher
There will be no Easter
All live venues are closed
I am now a broadcaster
There will be no spring break

There is nowhere I can go to share a meal with friends

I cannot sing in public
My church is closed
There will be no Thanksgiving
My children never leave the house
My church is open but I don’t go back
My prayers grow quiet

There is nowhere to go if I am not buying something

My aunt was alive but now she isn’t
I could not say goodbye
There will be no Christmas
My child no longer lives with me
I haven’t touched a stranger in months
My child no longer talks to me

There is nowhere I can go to be close to you

I miss the bad parts of good things
Breathing the stale draft of an airplane cabin
There will be no holiday
The Venice canals are dry
Gangs of starving monkeys brawl in Thai streets
A silent Suez ship stops time 

There is nowhere I can go

April fools

None of these truths shock me
But I’ll tell you what does

I have made it this far

The sun still sings me hymns

Little birds the shape of fat tears
balance on the thinnest branches, 
waving in the wind like palm fronds
Never falling
Always singing

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