praise poets and their pens

JP Howard

dedicated to my 30/30 crew

praise daily poems in my inbox
how they make me laugh in one stanza,
then break my heart the next
praise how poets hold onto our first loves,
and scent of mama, now gone
praise how we nurture our child self,
gently wrap her around stanzas,
baby girl is resilient
praise our spunk and our sadness,
let our writing heal
at home, at work, in cafés, even in the ICU
praise how we hold our memories up to light,
gentle and cupped in palm of hands
praise our rough and sexy poems,
sometimes that’s all we need
fiyah in the sheets
praise bebop and jazz
how my foot taps when i
speak your poems out loud
praise power of music and mama
who played Nancy Wilson all night long,
crying behind a closed door.
praise how i wrote a new poem this week,
while my sick child laid on my lap,
because everyone needs to heal, especially mamas.

Related Poems

Discrepancies Regarding My Mother's Departure

Another time after she left
I saw a headless woman
hurrying after her like a jaguar.

She pried off her red mouth
like a scar. My father folded the window
so that it fit inside his silence,

pulled apart starlight
with his teeth. Then he ate the fruit
of his own wreckage

until he was full, discontented
where he slept beneath a bridge.
The bones beneath

that bridge disappeared
around him, annunciated
by neglect.

My mother often told me
about her dreams
where amnesia chased her,

where I could see the handle of the shovel
for myself. I could see
where she had buried us or him, how

she had dug up the bones,
twisting blood & metal, as she struggled
with the flesh of memory.

Waiting inside of the night,
I could make out the mound
& her eyes, the blank embrace

of innocence when she returned.
It’s your turn, it’s always your turn,
the night says.