Monday, June 02, 2014


I used to read my own poetry on a monthly basis at a local open mic platform. Held on the first Tuesday of every month, the event features readings, dance, songsters and instrument players, and occasionally a dramatic bit. When I started taking care of my grand-girls I kept writing poetry, but on Tuesday evenings I was reading bedtime stories and tucking toddlers into bed. This week I'm on a mini-vacation and the first Tuesday of June happens to be tomorrow. Since I've been away, the hostess has instituted monthly themes which performers may follow, or not. Portraits is this month's theme and this is what I will read.

No Daughter of Mine

they laughed,
Mama and Daddy,
and clapped when my six year old self
clomped into the kitchen
all decked out in Mama’s twirly skirt,
her black stiletto heels
her peasant shirt that drooped
off one shoulder like I’d been in
some tussle that would also explain the
smeared red lipstick and my
flowsy-blowsy hair.

Now, taking in my tooled leather boots
my sequined jeans
the silver ring she hates that adorns
our natal connection, she swears
(in her own Mama’s voice)
“No daughter of mine will go 
anywhere looking

like that.”

Her own smeared mouth
sneers at the Smoky Rose on 
my lips, the Purple Dusk on my eyelids.
I’ve become more a threat than
a daughter, a memory of
her own forsaken innocence.
Daddy’s empty space circles her shoulders

like smoke from her cigarette.

Photo credit:


Brian Miller said...

whew...more a threat...remembering her own lost innocence...this has a nice edge to it...

knock em out at the open mic....smiles...i need to get back to one in the very near that summer is here...

Judith said...

That's it, just wow!
How did it go?

Out on the prairie said...

I have done a few readings and enjoyed the sharing

PhilipH said...

You know what would be t'riffic?
A video of your reading.
Or even a recording of it.

Even though I loved reading this piece it would be so great to hear you speaking it.

I just love John Betjeman's writing. To listen to his voice reciting his poetry is just wonderful.

Same goes for Dylan Thomas, Benjamin Zephaniah ...

Just my thoughts Pauline.

Kerry said...

I am so glad to read this. I know from fb that the reading went well, and now I can hear your words in my head. Bravo! Great poem, very visual and real to me.

Michael Manning said...

I am a member of an Open Mic group, but have only attended as an audience member. Kudos on the reading! How cool!!

Pauline said...

Brian - I used to read regular but am gone now on Tuesday nights. It was great fun to do it again!

J - when I got up to read someone behind me yelled, "Yay, Pauline!"

I think so too, OOTP

Philip, I have no idea how to do that!

Thanks, Kerry. I try to paint pictures so if there's no image to go with the words, there's one formed in the mind of the reader anyhow.

Michael, when you try it, let me know how it went!

Barbara Shallue said...

This is so raw and visual. I can feel the emotion! Great job!