Back on Planet Earth (poem)

My writing has been pretty “meh” for a few days. But I keep suting up and showing up, as the saying goes, even when the result was this:

“Are you panicked about the pancakes?” Jill asked Oscar. They were waiting out the rain in a seedy dance club that hadn’t seen a good night since 1985.

“Of course I’m panicked about the pancakes!” Oscar replied. He shook like a leaf in the wind. “I panic about everything, but when you throw pancakes in the mix, I turn into a wreck!”

There wasn’t much more to see in this particular scene, so we’re going to move on even though Oscar “Skinner” Canteloupe has an interesting backstory and a remarkable backside…heyyy ohhh! *rimshot*

dafuq
Yeah.

So I was pleasantly surprised when, in the midst of ruminating about death, loss, and relationships (par for the course, I came up with something not half bad:

Back on Planet Earth

“I ate a butterfly,” my son confessed
late one night when the moon hid her
face and the stars had twinkle-toed
their way into the Great Beyond where
giant creatures soared through interstellar
space, a comforting prospect for me
and my dutiful, sky-gazing child.

“I’ve heard worse,” I told him. “Hell,
I’ve done worse, though butterfly
eating isn’t the best thing in the world.
You’re mom would have had a fit.”

I remember when she cried in the backyard
and I kissed her eyes until she stopped.
She told me about memories she couldn’t
have had, images of a past life she lived
under violent clouds and massive radiation.
We all agreed that she was from another planet.

My son and I think that she must be one
of the space creatures now, her cavernous
mouth agape as she drifts in the cold darkness,
lonely until she bumps until another creature
she suspect is me but isn’t, and she sighs
an alien sigh and flaps her dark wings.

Back here on planet Earth, we struggle.
We etch our memories in sand, knowing
they will fade with rushing water and wind.
Some of us eat butterflies. The rest of us
learn to forgive such things and try to smile.

 

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