My first memory of writing a poem (that was really mine and not mimicking some Valentine’s Day love gibberish or imitating a poem that I liked and I just changed a few words) was in 6th grade when I wrote a poem about baseball, or maybe it was softball. A rather stupid poem about rounding the bases (not because of a home-run, but I think it talked about making it home, one base at a time). I say stupid because it didn’t really have much depth, or probably any aspects that would define it as a poem with substance (i.e. alliteration, figurative language, metaphors, form, etc.) It was, to say, a very elementary poem both literally and figuratively. Nonetheless, the principal liked the poem, (I don’t know how he got a hold of it) and asked me to read it during the morning announcements.
I was very excited that the principal liked my poem and I was overjoyed, albeit hella nervous, that he wanted me to read it on air. I stepped up to the challenge and I read my poem to the entire school. In the end, I have to say it was a good experience. I am one of those people who are very sensitive. I don’t really like others critiquing me, mostly because I am the one that is constantly criticizing myself and when someone says something to me that I could change or do better I am annoyed at myself that I didn’t think of this particular advice sooner and already incorporate it in my life.
Writing is complicated because you have to put yourself out there and take anything that people will say about it–the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is why I like poetry. People can critique you, but poetry is not the same as other forms of writing because it always evokes some kind of emotion and it’s harder to poke holes into raw emotion. That said, I don’t really share much of my poetry because it is mostly very raw–in terms of emotion, but also in terms of how much I edit it, which is to say, I don’t. It would probably be good for me to have someone edit my poems one of these days. All the same, I would like to share a short poem I wrote just now about homesickness. It doesn’t really have a title yet and it isn’t really finished but all the same, here goes:
When I get homesick I stream NPR
brew some tea
o me cebo unos mates.
I nibble something sweet and I imagine
eating my mom’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
adapted from the Mennonite, More with Less Cookbook.
2 cups of sugar, not one.
(Those Mennonites don’t know how to enjoy lo más dulce de la vida.)
The sounds of familiar reporters and news anchors
are muddled with the chirping of birds
mating. Encouraging Spring.
I realize my time is once again coming
to a close. The next journey is always on my mind and I
get anxious, stressed, irritated. Why
do I need to move so often? Why not
The truth is I don’t get homesick. It’s just nostalgia that is always following me
like the stray dog in my neighborhood that doesn’t seem to have a home, but
misses his owner.