I Remember that Other November

posted November 1, 2020

I remember that other November.
Eight blessed days of it
Untouched by what it would become;
The extra hour a sweet gift

After one last revelry:
We wore Hillary as hope
Hillary as superhero
The web of our neighborhood
Sharing the joke.
Our children little versions of now:
A tiny Wednesday with her Hamilton pals
A mini Ninja tearing through the streets
Dangling plastic orange Jack-o-lantern.

Eight days––whole as eggs–– of a fantasy
A gentle frost on the still-emerald grass
While behind us
The country folded their hands over their ballots
As we watched the east for the news
Like any good shepherd would.
Isn’t that where the sun always rises?

Now, we curl into each other
Away from all windows
Light our limited fires
Fight off hope like a virus.
Scrape the cobwebs from every corner
Ask ourselves:
Can there be such thing as fantasy
When truth is virtual?

My intention with 30 Poems in November is to return to the place of beginner. I hope to write a cogent poem each day, but I am defining “cogent” and “poem” as loosely as possible. I hope, actually, to write short, squat prose pieces. My intention will be to wake up at 6am EST 5 out of 7 days/week and write longhand in my journal, grasping only at the images that come to me. I will be stealing a page from Patti Smith, who spends her mornings with a cup of black coffee in a café. She people-watches, reads, writes what occurs to her. This will be my start, though of course given COVID there will be no cafés. Given my easily stainable teeth, there will also be no coffee. As for the social media aspect, I am not sure how prolific I will be. My job is to show up and follow the assignment, or let it act as a match to my exposed kindling. if you are able, please support my work here.

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  1. You capture so poignantly a great big slice of our grief and fear in the memory of our once naive hope. May that anguish power every one of us to make our voices count now–and in the future. Frederick Douglass fought on undaunted by a greater challenge than this one. May we in our actions be worthy of that faith.

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