Friday, November 27, 2020

thanks, anyway


He holds the 21st century up to his ear

and I can see it so clearly on the 

small screen: the helix and the antihelix,

the curve of his scapha,

the lobule of course, and between 

his tragus and antitragus, where

it's easy for detritus to collect,

his intertragic notch is looking

particularly clean and shiny.

There's a tuft of hair here and there,

to be expected at 80; and there

is the transparent wire that makes

it all work still: just a filament, really, 

looping over the helicis crus,

over the concha cavum (not 

to be confused with the concha

cymba), into the much more

commonly known ear canal.

The picture is so clear that I imagine

I can see inside: the practically-named

stirrup, anvil and hammer,

which thumps the ear drum 

far more delicately than "hammer"

and "drum" suggest.  We joke 

when he realizes I've been

studying his ear instead of seeing

his face, about how he's glad 

he showered this morning to get 

that ear so clean--and still 

we misunderstand each other.

They arrive for the dinner we agreed

must be separate; we turn them away

on the porch because one of us

might be unclean--virus trapped,

perhaps, in that notoriously mucky 

intertragic notch.

draft ©Heidi Mordhorst 2020


Join Carol and more of the Poetry Friday crew at Carol's Corner for a Thanksgiving weekend round-up. This week for the first time, someone I know personally and locally has had COVID (and, gratefully, gotten through it), but it has closed all the way in for so many. I hope you and yours are safe and well enough. 🧡

Thursday, November 12, 2020

aubade, with apologies

Dear Sunday Swaggers,

I'm sorry.  Last week I very consciously made a decision to pass on Poetry Friday in order to focus on my work for the NCTE Poetry Awards Committee meeting on Friday evening. My beleaguered brain was unable to recall that on THIS particular Friday, I was committed to our monthly group challenge--this time from Linda Mitchell, to write an aubade (here's a good one by Philip Larkin).  So you came here on Friday morning and found only...


No song or poem
greets this dawn.
Nobody bids a
fond adieu to a love.
There is no parting here
this morn, for neither 
was there joining...

except the joining 
of an early riser 
and her books. She rose
to read, to join with eyes
of love wide open, wise,
to read what the world
would put before a child.

She read to see that words
played music like the dawn,
like rays of light and veils 
of cloud removed, illuminating
extraordinary news.

She read to see that promises
were kept, that what the
poem claimed would be
delivered, along with
extra unexpected joy.

She read to keep familiar
voices honest. She read to
thresh fresh voices from 
the throng. She read and
wrote her morning love
a song, a song to guide
the ones who choose 
the books, who spread
the poems out before 
the child.

draft ©Heidi Mordhorst 2020

Please accept my apology, Swaggers. Our committee is excited to be participating at the NCTE Annual (Virtual) Convention, reviewing last year's picks, introducing this year's choices, and announcing the biennial NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children!

And in case you missed my fellow aubadeers' work last week, here are links:

Our host for Poetry Friday this week is Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge. I hope there's haiku!