I’ve been writing since I was eight, despite being told that I shouldn’t. Writing revealed too much. This is why I tell my students they should never be afraid to put the truth on the page. I’m a community college English professor, who alternately loves and despairs of her students. I’ve written lots of different things—newspaper columns, academic stuff, poems (including two chapbooks and a forthcoming full-length collection) and a couple of mystery novels, one of which will be published this spring by Barking Rain Press. I have the very great pleasure of serving the town of Norwalk, Connecticut, as its poet laureate. At this very moment, my dog is sniffing through my trash for a draft of something to chew on. My website: www.laurelpeterson.com
More like bombing:
The sudden blister
through clean fall air,
a burning knife through clear gelée,
like a gunshot
cracking the roof.
out of sleep
you scan for the intruder,
hear nature rumble her roots,
snap through basement concrete.
Gravity pulls her seed to earth,
looking for fertility.
Innocent, you think, you blame squirrels
loosing large, hard treasure
for winter’s famine,
lofting thirty feet above,
free of the fear of falling.
You wonder how many starved bodies
you sweep from the deck.
The dog gnaws at the remains,
leaving them crushed open,
like garlic smashed
to ward off demons and vampires.
But at two AM when another missile
punctures your sleep,
you know it’s the tree itself,
cranky man-woman sprite
too long encased in aging and knotty bark,
lobbing live ones at the nearest target--
Sleeping Beauty’s thorn-covered castle--
saying it’s time to wake up.
originally published in The Hurricane Review (Fall 2007)
©2016 Laurel Peterson
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -FF