May 19 13 by Published in: Featured Poets No comments yet

Jennifer Groff loves traveling and trying out different places which she documents on her blog. These poems are based on blog entries from her sojourn in Medellin, Colombia. She visited Lancaster in the spring of 2012, and attended the annual Spoken Word Festival and … she loved it! Now she lives here, and walks in the city, writes in parks, and bicycles on rural roads. She was featured in the 2013 Spoken Word Festival, performing these poems. 

A veces / sometimes

after Sandra Simonds’ poem, “Red Wand” 

sometimes I try to make poetry but most days I try to learn a new phrase in Spanish, I try to be kind, I try to remember one important thing; today, it is a fancy marbled pigeon in the park, the strange beauty of tiny brown spotted eggs on the shelf at the grocery store, the uncomfortable grating of my jeans against scraped knees, the cool air that moves under the trees that shade me from the sun, the mottled stucco streetface of apartment buildings that may promise gardens somewhere behind the locked up gates–

the pigeon, the eggs, the stucco, the skin of my knees, all uneven in color, molting or shedding or hiding something, like each answer I give out to the questions, what are you doing in Medellín?   why are you here?

 

 

Trabajo  / work

I have scrubbed

the bean pot

so that I can use it

to boil water

for my tea.

A friend in Minnesota,

where the February cold is work enough,

spent 19 hours on two tax returns

and here I am with

a yellow pad

and three scratched-out sentences.

 

There was the 30 minute walk

to buy fresh papaya,

coming home to scoop out seeds,

dive in with a spoon,

all the pulpy orange-red flesh

sliding away too soon.

And the awakening before dawn

to listen — rain on car roofs,

a baby crying,

the tinny beep of a remote,

city neighbor sounds through the open window.

 

Work, it is

work,

paying attention,

noticing,

capturing words on paper,

even if the tally at day’s end

doesn’t add up to much:

one pot, one teacup grown cold,

a scene still missing descriptions;

half a poem that doesn’t quite

work.

 

 Used by permission of Jennifer Groff. Copyright 2013.

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