Poems for an April Day
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.
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
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
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