Poems for an April Day

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Our poet laurates share some of their latest poetry today. It will make you think, it will make you cry, it will make you feel.

Matriarchs

They are filming Mrs. Maisel
on my block.
I want to catch a glimpse
of the peacock wool coats
and crazy hat day hats
from Bonwit Teller,
that were de rigeuer
in 1960.

Women were ladies then,
freshly powdered to be seen,
but were secretly
under their corsets,
unlacing a revolution.

I want to sit
in the roomy, shapely, brightly colored vintage automobiles
with whitewall tires,
and drive back in time
to take the road trip
to pave the way for my generation.
Even though the marvelous Midge Maisel is fictional,
she is here now reminding and reenacting us.

I am grateful to her
and my mother’s generation
who collectively changed the world
and still made pot-roast
while they invaded office spaces
and coined the phrase
have it all.

Linda, my mother-in-law,
didn’t just turn 85 last week,
she climbed there
from a time when it wasn’t proper
for women to sweat.

Today she is a glittering, glistening matriarch
who raised 2 sets of twins
in a house with the same
pink and white glass ribbon lamps
as I see on TV in Midge’s living room.
Then she joined the workforce
and she is still in the office.
Linda still skis, cooks, cleans,
and checks Facebook.

She has 10 grandchildren and 1 great grandson.
She is an expert gift wrapper and bow-tier.
She has Super Bowl parties and Passover seders
with Martha Stewart magazine-worthy place settings and detail.
These perfections are perched upon
the long oval Baker table
she’s used for 50 years.
Her grandchildren load and unload
the nicked and scratched extension boards
to accommodate all of us
and our loud, messy families.
Linda tossed her corset along the way
and looks even better without it.

~ Nicole Freezer Rubens, author of The Long Pause and the Short Breath…Poems & Photos & Reflections on New York City’s Pandemic

Life and Death Decisions

Would I fight for my country's precious freedom,
Would I have the strength for the horror to come?
Could I handle the fighting and relentless pain,
With no food, water or cover from rain,
As those brave souls in all towns in Ukraine?
How I admire their fight to survive,
To keep spirits up to stay alive,
Could you risk your life, perhaps crippling pain,
Where you and family might surely be slain,
Without a whimper or a shout or care to complain?
Yes, God Bless America, to keep our democracy,
It is the only place to live or die for me.

Glory To Ukraine!!!
~Carol Ostrow, author of Poems from My Pandemic Pen



Accountability

You move and climb mountains that held you back while dealing with the valleys and meadows
You tried to climb something that no longer needs to be scaled
You went to a place that only you can divulge
Ethically and emotionally needed cleansing
Needed to fly on its own without you navigating
Not only does it no longer matter
It does not fill you up and its purpose was another's issue
You rethink it and no longer think about it
If it rears its ugly head which it is bound to do
You have grown and changed for the better even if it hurt you
Accountable to yourself, first
Then you can be better for those that share your life

~Madlyn Epstein Steinhart, author of Put Your Boots on and Dance in the Rain

On Leaving

Why must I go?
Where shall I start?
Yes, history is here
And memories too numerous to name
Here is a life and lives of those who came before
And after
And beauty, always beauty
But there is more to life
Than memory and beauty
What of adventure and experience?
Without them, life will be stagnant and still
So, yes,
I must go
With memory and beauty
Always in my heart

~ Stephanie Sloane, author of Dear Me: Poems of Loss, Grief, and Hope in New York’s Darkest Days

Author

  • Poetry is back in vogue and through The Three Tomatoes Book Publishing we have the honor of publishing books by four poets—Madlyn Epstein Steinhart, Stephanie Sloane, Nicole Freezer Rubens, and Carol Ostrow. Check out their poetry submissions each month.

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