Tag Archives: jennifer chang

poem for the day: again a solstice

alice in wonderland with a can of spray paint, over text good morning!

I’m at the cafe, working, studying —

Puppy’s got a touch of the sick,  just a cough —

Apparently, the bordatella vaccination doesn’t necessarily prevent your pup from getting kennel cough. Hm.

It’s enough of a cough that the vet doesn’t want her to be at doggie day care for a bit. Wish us luck, me and the pup — we are in love and also trying not to get on each other’s nerves.

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this poem came through on the poets.org poem-a-day email, and offered me a big yes, and so I want to share it with you all, too.

Again a Solstice
by Jennifer Chang

It is not good to think
of everything as a mistake. I asked
for bacon in my sandwich, and then

I asked for more. Mistake.
I told you the truth about my scar:

I did not use a knife. I lied
about what he did to my faith
in loneliness. Both mistakes.

That there is always a you. Mistake.
Faith in loneliness, my mother proclaimed,

is faith in self. My instinct, a poor polaris.
Not a mistake is the blue boredom
of a summer lake. O mud, sun, and algae!

We swim in glittering murk.
I tread, you tread. There are children

testing the deep end, shriek and stroke,
the lifeguard perilously close to diving.
I tried diving once. I dove like a brick.

It was a mistake to ask the $30 prophet
for a $20 prophecy. A mistake to believe.

I was young and broke. I swam
in a stolen reservoir then, not even a lake.
Her prophesy: from my vagrant exertion

I’ll die at 42. Our dog totters across the lake,
kicks the ripple. I tread, you tread.

What does it even mean to write a poem?
It means today
I’m correcting my mistakes.

It means I don’t want to be lonely.

Any of these lines jump out at you as writing sparks or prompts? For me, it’s What does it even mean to write a poem? Give yourself 10 minutes, take a line, dive into your writing…

Thanks for the light you’ll bring into someone’s unwelcome darkness today, and for the shade you’ll offer someone too much in the light. Thanks, always, for your words.