tupelo press 30/30 project: day 05

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oh, my! it was a struggle to get today’s poem for tupelo’s 30/30 project. in fact, i pooped out after the first eight lines — couldn’t figure out where to go next. and so i did what felt unthinkable at first: i just let it go. i let it end right there where it was. and you know what? it kind of works for the tone and content of the piece. i mean: it’s a draft and it needs work, but the concept may actually fly even if/when i decide to revise. working with what i had, i named it “half sonnet for a dead goldfish.”

it’s one of those poems that’s jillypoet’s fault. the dear hamster of her sweet daughter passed in dramatic fashion tuesday night, and last night, they held a funeral for “rosa parks” (that’s what they’d named the hamster). we did not attend, but my middle son delivered a eulogy in the car when i told him the news. he said, “rosa parks stood up for what she believed in. she was cranky, and she bit me.” he’s right. she did bite him.

rosa’s funeral is not the first such ceremony jill and company have had for a pet, and i’ve always admired the tender ways they come together and honor loss. and as much as i wish i had the same instinct, i just don’t. i’m well aware that it may make me a terrible person. it’s not that i don’t love my pets. i do: dearly. i’m even envious of the tradition. i’m in awe of it. but i just don’t see myself ever doing it. stoicism is my go-to position. moving on quickly saves me. sort of.

anyway…. instead of being ashamed, i decided to see if i could get a poem out of it. and i did. or half a poem, anyway. here’s a preview (be sure to go read the rest and visit the other day 5 poems!):

we flush the goldfish without the boy who loved it
saying goodbye: there will be no funeral. we’re not the type.
we run out of clean spoons partway through breakfast.
and when we dress to go out in the cold, we settle for
an odd number of gloves…

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