#OctPoWriMo Prep

I have browsed the early released prompts for Week 1 of next month’s Poetry Writing Challenge and it sparked many ideas in my mushy brain. I have been getting used to doing things slowly, and not feeling like a failure if I have to leave a project and come back to it. In the past, I would abandon the unfinished work and forget about it, write it off as some wasted effort even…this was a bad thing to do. My husband is very good at leaving something and returning to it and he teaches me to be slow and careful. It’s taken me a long time to get here. Even on my sickest days I would push and push way beyond my limits to complete something. Instead of this graveyard of drafts I’m accumulating, I can go and tend to them, nourish the garden of my hard work, and revive them into newness. It’s also more than fine that I can no longer finish an entire book in one day. If I were to continue on the “if I don’t finish it today then forget it” routine, then I might have even given up reading altogether, and wouldn’t that be miserable?

Speaking of “Tend”, as a little prelude to this year’s #OctPoWriMo, I’m going to share a poem of mine from 2017’s October Writing Month. It is very appropriate for me right now and it’s one that I recall exactly the mindset I was in when I wrote it. It’s quite similar to the one I’m in now.

Happy October! I urge you all to strive for peace as much as possible. We all know how rocky and difficult it is out there, and will be for some time I’m sure. Be well, and if you like, be sure to come back each day next month and hopefully I’ll have a new poem for you each day. Be kind to one another. ❤

Tend // by Jennifer Patino

These organs had to find a way to live in me.
Are we on the same side here?
Who’s keeping who

The zinnia in my chest contracts
and constricts like a tongue
holding back from telling it
like it really is.

Here, have the wilted petals,
fill your vials with more
questions than answers. It’s
pretty. Crimson is the color
of denial.

Take this pile of waste. This
lumpy grey space. The heart
of the machine, until it resets.
Until it reveals what should
never be seen.

I have no control over neuro-
transmitter flow or invading
cysts attacking and conquering
my filtering system. I have
no say over muscular tension
felt long after the fists stop
pounding for my attention.

And someone has taken hammers
to my thighs. Someone is re-
playing my trauma home movies
behind my closed eyes. I am
breathing, thus polluting.
I am moving, never

The caretaker can’t keep up
with an overgrown body when
every shrub is covered in
thorns. This soil hurts and
they keep digging. Soon I will
be buried, reborn, and forgiving.

I’ll give new life
with my final scream,
release the pain
and finally
wake up from this torturing dream.

Published by Jennifer Patino


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