Poetry or Fiction: Genre Decisions/ Rough Draft

Can any topic be used for a poem? A narrative of a father drunk vomiting… agreeing to drive daughter to work during a winter storm–how can that be in a poem? I’m feeling the story wants to be a poem–or am I being influenced too much by Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays?”

Because I have been reading poetry and keep coming back to  “what did I know” This father is not a farmer, but a father who wasn’t always drunk and sometimes tried to help his daughter get to work so she could save money for college.  (When he wasn’t waiting for her paycheck to “give it home,” if he was drunk on payday—before direct deposits.)

Because no, maybe fiction would be better. The father heaving, vomiting between telling Lo he will, he should drive her to work in a storm, not to walk in the storm. Lo wondering… can she trust Da to drive her?

Fun to explore the decision of what genre would be best for a narrative. Interesting to learn what these characters insist on–poetry, my usual genre, or fiction?

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Da Girl

Da, girl says
Are you sure you can drive?
Five minutes, he says.

Tap-water instant
Coffee effort Not doing it.

Can you boil water, Lo,
can you?

Five minutes more, he says,
Don’t walk, I hear
The storm.

Da, she whispers,
I’ll lost my job,
Searching the sideways blizzard.

 

 

***And a link to Hayden’s poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46461/those-winter-sundays

The Surprise of Coreopsis, a prose poem

coreopsis  Will I change once the pre-dawn robin songs return? The songs are late, yet the mud crusted opaque ice is too long staying and will the chorus frogs under the ice survive? They should be singing as well, but they are silent, I am silent but for the hissing inside my head, and can I, will I, should I feel spring fever again, if spring ever returns? Will I feel that regret and joy spring brings, the feeling as if all is possible and yet that all has passed us by simultaneously?
If the flood of spring sun does not return or at least the surprise of coreopsis, I cannot be opaque dirty ice.

I just cannot.

Prose Poem/ Didn’t Say Good-bye

bonfire

For the students:

Cool spring night in April. Red bud blooms just starting to soften, School nearly over— We wanted to say good bye.
 
A dozen gathered for fire and ghosts (We were too old for Ghost stories– We mostly laughed at them.) But huddled closer before the end of school We wanted to say good bye.
 
Nearly full moon peaked gold on the horizon, watching us, laughed at us a bit, hid back in the clouds then showed its silver side.  Showed up in our ghost stories–the hide and seek moon. We just wanted to say good bye.
 
Twelve, a dozen motley crew on a Saturday night, asking if it was time to go home, but no one wanted to leave the flames gold, flickering, magical like the moon’s silver— They held us in place. The talking stopped, But we were saying good bye.
 
I slipped away, knowing Mom needed me– I didn’t want to disturb them, my suddenly silent but free and sweet silver and gold friends.  Flames calling me back but Mom needed me. I didn’t get to say good bye.
 
I heard it, the explosion. Ran back but I was too late. Faces, arms, hands just gone. Explosion then sirens and crying, sobbing and smells and screams
 
I didn’t say good bye.
 
 
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For the students and their families, a made up story but the sentiment is sincere. I am so sorry for your pain, so young, so tragic. I keep thinking about how the young one’s lives, and the lives of their families, friends, school community, are changed utterly. I wish them well, wish they healing, but know such trauma, such injuries have long lasting effects. So I wrote a poem for them, a silly gesture, because I don’t know them, I won’t ever know them, but I can imagine being young in the night, right before the end of a school year….in the nearly full moon light, with the flickering fire before you…a night of silver and gold and them tragedy.