THIS IS THE POEM I’LL NEVER WRITE
–about how they kept me
under the bed
and sang songs to make me cry and then laughed
at me until I learned to stop.
the only safe place was a castle where
every evening we watched the sun go down
while we sang Gregorian Chant and ate
About the teacher who
wouldn’t let me read beyond and the teacher
who stole my arrowheads and the teacher
who slapped me when I played the wrong notes and
the teacher who made a pass at everyone
About the horrible gray skirt,
the stubby brown oxfords, the home-made prom
dress in a shade of peach that made me look
I gave birth on a ferris
wheel while my boyfriend ate cotton candy
and drank Coke and promised to marry me
anyway, and didn’t.
About how later
I married for love but the next day ran
away with a Costa Rican cowboy
who recited poetry and really,
truly believed in God.
About how I
grew old in the rainforest, how I lived
on plantains and beef, and bore five daughters
who died and one son who lived.
About how we
finally gave up making love and
the cattle ran away and the forest
burned around us and now the only things
that make me cry are the deaths of dogs.