What is she doing up there on the stage, graduating with a masters in IT when she should have graduated with Anthropology, with Archaeology, with Egyptology as her focus?
And why is she pregnant, and with a child, when she didn’t want kids to begin with, when she wanted to be an explorer, when she was going to sit among the pyramids.
Where did those dreams go? She has tears in her eyes, she may be sorrowful, and wondering the same thing.
She may be full of regrets, but I hope she is happy with where she is and who she is with.
This is part two of the writing prompt from the poetry workshop with Carlos Andres Gomez. The prompt is to look at the celebratory moment as if you are watching as a bystander in a different era. For reference, check the first poem in the writing prompt here: https://coffee-shop-sessions.com/2020/07/02/this-is-our-moment/
in a black graduation gown,
and black heels,
feeling the weight of my 8th month pregnant belly
down to my swollen ankles,
I walk from the parking garage
into the thick, sweltering heat towards the hall.
where am I headed,
the destination is unknown,
but I am headed down to where my family,
my estranged parents,
my supportive in-laws,
and my 4 and half year old daughter
will witness an achievement
that no one else in my family has ever seen before.
I will be the first,
and I pray to God that my daughter,
both in the audience
and the unborn one inside of me,
will follow in these footsteps-
take each painful step and still rise
to the challenge
to show everyone that they can.
I reach the stage,
the announcer calls my name,
and tears and a smile reach my face,
as my heart pounds,
my feet ache,
and the baby inside me is overjoyed.
yes, this is my moment, and it is yours, too.
Written in a poetry workshop with Carlos Andres Gomez, July 1, 2020. Check out this incredible poet here: www.carloslive.com. The prompt was to write about a celebratory moment where you are physically in the moment, I chose the day of my Master’s degree graduation.
My grandfather, he ordered black coffee, a soup and salad before his meal, steak and potatoes, and always leaving room for dessert at buffets on the other side of town
A routine meal to this day is remembered as my favorite meals with him
My Dad loved on his Alaskan crab legs with a side of melted butter While Mom ordered chicken at a seafood restaurant She never offered to pay while Auntie told us, ‘Don’t take it for granted, she should say ‘Thanks’’
A routine meal that to this day is remembered as our family meals together
The holidays would arrive suddenly, every holiday, as our family rushed off to Sunday service.
Was this excursion a last minute decision? Is the calendar right? Always arriving late, we discreetly sneaked into the pews. With a family of five, surely no one would notice. But they did, they always notice.
A routine holiday that would years later be remembered as our holidays together
Every year, every holiday, every birthday, the same restaurants, the same routine, the same church service.
But at least we gathered in the familiar ways we knew what was to come. We could count on those moments, those familiar moments.
Now we look back without the chance to relive all those memories, without the words of togetherness without bickering without reconciling No more chasing each other around the yard No more climbing up the tree, my favorite tree All that is left are these memories While isolating from our high-strung family
Now we pass the memories on while making new ones; new choices of restaurants, holidays, vacations and promises of not being late (but who are we kidding, we’re always late)
And yet, some things will remain I’ll keep the same dessert in honor of my grandparents whose struggles and sacrifices for our family deserve to be rewarded with a slice of warm apple pie
Late at night Lying in bed Headphones on Listening to music Or a few recorded poems Reading the latest I attempt to craft a new one Or brush up a draft not quite finished
It’s becoming routine I’ve always been An undercover poet Now I’m sharing my words With my family’s support as an added bonus
Shared are the happenings, The disappointments, The contests never won, Submissions rejected And poetry readings I’ve done But only a select few are read Only those that are safe Too many things need to be left unsaid
Safe are the clouds Blowing with the whispering wind Safe are the waves Leaping over me as I rescind All my powers to Mother Nature She’s the one we must bow to Who we give our ultimate thanks to
Those poems of desire and longing Full of sorrow Never to be filled By our wants in all of our tomorrows No, those things aren’t safe There’s too many things that need to be left unsaid