I live in the Hudson Valley with my husband, musician and composer, Tom Miller. I'm happily retired from teaching Special Education, and spend my days doing what I love: writing, quilting and gardening. My debut poetry collection, No Passing Zone, was published in December, 2012 by Deerbrook Editions. Recently, my poems have appeared in OxMag, Evening Street Review and the e-zine, www.thefuriousgazelle.com. For more information please visit my website: www.donnareis.com.
Learn to Sail
When our poetry teacher said, Learn to Sail,
I heard, Learn to Fail, a course I'd surely ace.
I failed math in junior high so badly,
that I was handed a rolled-up, blank
paper at my eighth-grade graduation.
I dodged my grandmother all afternoon
who kept asking to see my diploma.
While learning to meditate, I blurted
I masturbated this morning!
It wasn't even true.
Was I that much of a failure at emptying
my mind? Bodies can be a distraction,
especially at the Ashram, where there's
this blond, long-haired, surfer dude,
looking like he's attained Atman and Satori
right down to his golden member.
I've said pummel when I meant plummet,
forsaken instead of forgiven, misgiven
for mistaken, spring instead of fall.
And once, I said hate when I meant love.
And as for sailing, living in a resort town,
my father thought we should own a Sunfish.
Only I would venture out with him. Every time
he yelled, Change sides, pull up the dagger board,
the swinging sail clocked me in the head
and we'd capsize. ...Sailing, failing,
what's the difference?
©2017 Donna Reis
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