Poem of the Fortnight

I decided to post a poem every two weeks because my critiquing group meets roughly that often—twice a month, close enough—and I would post the poem from the previous session after revisions.

Saturday night I attended a poetry reading to celebrate the life and poetry of Deb Akers, who died last year.

Deb Akers

Her husband has put together a wonderful book of her poems,  An Elegant Sufficiency, and many of her friends read poems from the book or poems written in tribute to her work and life.

Deb was a member of my critiquing group for many years, and we worked together on a couple of anthologies, Poetography and Poetography II, which the group produced and published under the aegis of the Austin Writers’ League (now the Writers’ League of Texas). Deb came up with the term “Poetry Confessional” for our group because we share very private thoughts and feelings in our work. We considered using that as the title for the book.

So… the last poem I took to the critiquing group was one that stays in the Poetry Confessional. Instead, here is one of my earliest poems, which I used as the title for my first chapbook, Lemon Curd. Many of my poems are about dysfunctional family (including the one I’m withholding), but then isn’t the term “dysfunctional family” redundant?

Lemon Curd

Mom and Auntie Thora

working in the kitchen

making lemon curd

Yorkshire accents rising

irritation thickening like eggs.

I no longer hear their words

but listen to the rising — falling — tones:

YAH NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH!

NAH, YAH NAH NAH YAH NAH NAH!

as they try to teach each other

things each has done her own way

for at least 50 years.

Two sisters, 79 and 83,

bickering in the kitchen,

making lemon curd.

 

Thora and Thelma, c. 1916.

 

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