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Apr 5 · 318
Williams, Arizona.
Melted snow and dusty streets.

You and I had to stop.

We’re drawn to places

of power, like roadside

attractions. No matter how

cheap or quaint they seem,

they’re free of cliches.

Here it was, a shrine to

Route 66--even if it was

just a ***** painted banner

on a faded tan brick

gas station wall:

“LAST TOWN BYPASSED

BY I-40 ROUTE 66

WILLIAMS, ARIZONA

OCTOBER 13, 1984.”

You parked the rented car

on broken pavement.

You had to stop and take a

picture under the sign and

between the parked Sequoia

and mud-covered pickups.

You don’t know to

pray, but you know how

to pay attention,

how to halt and idle

in the exhaust of diesel fuel.

Really, what else should you

have done? Doesn’t everything

disappear too soon? What door

will you open now that your

sacred window is closing?
#3030April5
1.  Your cornflower blue eyes crinkled and laughing, sometimes flashing like the storms you love to chase

2. Your strawberry blond mop that smelled nothing like fruit but instead of sweat and grime, clinging to your brow when you removed that Pepsi baseball cap

3. Easter egg hunts on your birthday, like plastic flowers in melted snow and you up trees and on the roof of grandma's garage

4. Rare compromises that built tree forts or wound up the tire swing until it bounced and whirled its passenger like a spinning top

5. When everything you did, I wanted to do too--whether it was rescuing the princess or flying an X-wing

6. Diddy and Dixie Kong headlocked and tangled in armpits, wrestling for the Super Nintendo controller or for the remote for the VCR until Donkey had enough and made them both watch Barney

7. The laughter of you and your friends from the basement or slipping around the corner, back when I said “Me too” and meant “include me”

8. Games of war crouched behind the couches when the only war you dreamt about was the one in Narnia

9. The cliff in Hawaii over the smoking volcanic ocean water and Mom screaming for you to come down

10. When you push me, like the dominoes you used to line up and watch devotedly as they toppled over, one after the other because sometimes general incivility is the very essence of love.
#3030April4
When you have candles on your cake, light them.
When you have confetti in your pockets, throw them.
When the clouds in your painted blue skies turn to storms,
reframe the canvas.
When you can't take another step, take one more
because soon you'll be able to rest.
And don't forget--to breathe.
Your hands will ache, and your bones will tire.
You will walk away, but you must always
turn back and try again.
This is how you see another sunrise.
This is how your steps become dancing
and your silence humming.
This is how you keep going.
#3April3030
Apr 3 · 148
Up in the Air
He may praise me like

a breeze on a sunny day.

He may shriek as he

gets carried away.

He may slam the front door

and rattle the windows.

He may get swept up in a storm

of his own making,

but I've learned to stand in

the eye of the storm and

not be touched,

when to board the windows

and doors and wait in

the basement,

when to hop in my car and roll the windows down

and feel the wind in my fingers,

and when to look for that moment

when a child's kite cartwheels

through the air

and a proud father looks on
#3030April2
Apr 3 · 318
Streets at Dawn
The only time the streets are paved
with gold is when the sun rises--
poor Dennis feels rich
old Marlys feels young
everything slow seems worth waiting for.
The birds fly north and greet the sky.
Over the streets the sun pours
like honey from the jar.
It's another day, and you doubted
you'd make it this far.
When the darkness feels too heavy,
your hands too empty,
don't forget that joy
comes in the morning.
#3030April1
it’s the color of the canyon walls that she was taking her grandma to see. It’s the color of her grandma’s flannel in her almost packed suitcase. It’s the Valentines hanging on the hospital walls a couple days too late. When her one-year-old son sits on her lap at Great Grandma’s bedside, it’s the color of her face when she can’t help smiling. When her son places a bracelet in Great Grandma’s palm, it’s the color of the beads with the most sparkle. When she cries at her grandma’s funeral, it’s the color of her eyes. When she doesn’t have time to buy another dress, it is the color of the one that fits. When her hand falls on her belly, it’s the pulse of her unborn child’s heart. It’s the color that demands she halt and pay attention, like the power she holds over people when she speaks. It’s not the color that lets you go easy.
May 2018 · 183
In a one-bedroom apartment
Laura Slaathaug May 2018
she’s reminiscing,
a young woman,
who already feels old.
The weight of her heart
hunches her shoulders
and adds girth to her frame.
She wonders if life would be easier
if she was skinnier
because she looks at photos and
recalls a waif with big eyes
and bigger hair
nineteen and lovestruck,
his hand in hers
sneaking into abandoned houses,
and lying in golden fields,
the cool summer nights of
bicycle rides in the dark.
How much easier it was fall in
and out of love when you felt
invincible and didn’t know it–
when you’re more than the
woman cloaked in black,
like the heart she’s always
joked about
and drenched in
wine and smoke–
if she could be but the night
and swallow the sun, moon,
the stars, and all
that ever was–
but no, she’s a whisper
one word slipping into silence.
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2018
you’ve just hung your vibrant
dripping orchid that you’ve dedicated
to your mother
who passed not so long ago.
It hangs on wire I’d given you.
My drawing skills are beginner, you say,
and I won’t learn anything
at the intermediate watercolor workshop.
And I take a deep breath and
hold back the anger sour in my gut.
With one comment you dismiss
all that I’m worked for
over the last ten years–
ten years of painting on and off
and drawing for even longer.
I am not a beginner.
My paintings hang colorful and
bright on the other side of the room,
and I’d written on one (finished that afternoon):
“I’m learning to be brave.”
These hands, dry from scrubbing paint stains,
have learned
to swim in deep paper oceans
under a bleeding sun,
that too much water crumples the paper,
that scotch tape is not painter’s tape,
that sometimes done is better than good,
and a good drawing is essential.
I don’t know everything,
but I know more than I did ten years ago
when I had no money or knowledge
about paint or canvases.
Instead I remember at age 16
making my own canvas with glue, printer paper,
cardboard, and tears.
Here I painted lilac sunrises of better days.
This is my growth.
This is my intermediate.
Do you think I’m some beginner
who’s lost her way,
who’s aiming for things
higher than her reach?
Do you want to guide
me to the right path?
Why does your path
happens be your sister’s
400 dollar watercolor workshop
instead of the cheaper
100-200 dollar weekend one
that I signed up for?
This is where I could tell you that
I look all of the skill around and me,
all the art prints in stores,
and think, Yes, I can do that.
Yes, my paintings
hang on the wall next to yours.
And I’m not afraid to take them
down and start again.
This is what I’m thinking
and can’t tell you.
So, instead I smile and tell you,
l consider myself intermediate.
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2018
the cars on the road
and descends past naked trees
into the field still
dry despite snowmelt water
where she alights and
closes her wings, ruffles her
feathers, and dunks her
head. She drinks. The
wind stirs ripples on the pond.
Then she comes up, bobs,
floats, and dunks her head again
and again with wild
thirst that will not be sated.
Apr 2018 · 126
Conversation
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2018
They say, Poets always take the weather personally. They’re always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions.

I say, We’re all poets here, the coldest spring on record since Laura lived in her Little House on the Prairie. The long winter, she called it then.

Yes, winter, you’ve been here long. The door was opened for you long ago, but you never got up from your seat–even after the plates were washed and put away and everyone else had left.

And I kissed a man who told me, Heaven is fresh snow powdered like sugar and me on my board sliding down the *****, the wind in my hair, so cold my teeth ache. But it doesn’t matter because I’m smiling ear to ear.

And I want to agree, but I can’t.

With a lump in my throat I say, Isolation is a snowstorm: a white horizon, a scene of a single color, and the wail of the wind.
But it’s the set-up. The blank page for what is to come after.
Apr 2018 · 197
2 Truths and a Lie
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2018
I am not tired,
I say as you turn on a film
and I fall asleep.
Prompt-2 Truths and a Lie
Apr 2018 · 148
10 Secrets
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2018

1. After last night's dinner you poured mint tea into a porcelain cup for your dad, and he laughed, saying, "Daughter, the last time we did this you were four." You replied seriously, "I'm living my dreams, Dad."

2. You go to counseling once a month and have been doing so intermittently for the last 10 years.

3. But when you were four years old, you had conversations with imagined dinner guests and poured water from a plastic tea *** like scripture from a pastor's mouth. You'd never had real tea, so you imagined it with lumps of sugar. From ear to ear your smile was real.

4. Five years ago if someone told you that your family would be sitting at your table eating your food on Easter, you would have laughed because you didn't have an oven or a table.

5. Five years ago was when you chose life, and everyday you keep choosing it--like painting over a crimson stain in white.

6. You like church because you feel like it's one of the few places you can cry, and everyone else seems to understand.

7. When you were little, you would say, "I want to go home" even if you were already there. You knew more then than you know now--that home is not a place, but a feeling.

8. Every Easter you wonder how the Son felt coming home to His Father. Sometimes you forget how heavy the stone was when it rolled away.

9. Your dad is the strongest man you know. He has bushy eyebrows; when he ruffles them he looks like a horned owl about to take flight. Your mom tuts and tells him he looks like he's going to fly away. And he has, several times around the world.

10.  Sometimes you want to fly away too, just to see what your hometown looks like to a bird, to fit your piece of prairie to the rest of the puzzle. To see what your dad saw when he flew through the sky. To see what keeps bringing him home.
(2/30) Prompt: 10 Secrets
Apr 2018 · 144
--
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2018
--
It was cold when I died--
The ground hard where I was lain
The garments wrapping
my head and body  
were meant to be my last--
the night silent
and there was nothing
and nothing else.

The dead do not have hope.
The dead have nothing
but a tomb.
And this tomb was meant
for me.

The living have stories.
The dead have endings.
But even endings have endings,
and the biggest trick I fell for
was that mine was done.

Because there was
not nothing.
The heavy air became light.
And the ground thudded with
heavy movement;
then it was still.
And there was nothing once more.

And then my eyes opened.
The wrappings were pulled
from my face,
and light hit my eyes.

And I rose again
on my 2 feet,
and walked toward
the open stone door
that You had
rolled open
for me.
Happy Easter!
Laura Slaathaug Mar 2018
You forget how light your steps fall
and how quickly the tide
and wind weather your footprints.
So what if you’re not standing on sandy beaches,
go stand on the frozen lake and
leap over the snowy mounded waves.
Take this moment for what it brings.
You’ve been ill—but you’re standing here
better out in the open, your feet cold and wet.
So you don’t enough money to
fly to wherever you want whenever you want.
Your eyes fly upward now,
over where blue meets white endlessness.
You breathe in cold air and blink.  
You’re where you’re at
in life because
you chose
to    be   here.
Every day your choices accumulate
like snow that refuses to stop falling
even on the first day of spring,
and they bear you
over a mound of frozen opportunity.
Sure, 90% of what happens in life is beyond human control,
but 10% is how we react to it.
As time passes, choices can’t always be undone,
but
May always comes.
And in March
we always have the option to continue.
Mar 2018 · 147
Untitled
Laura Slaathaug Mar 2018
I love you like a North Dakota sky--

long, blue, and everywhere
Mar 2018 · 139
Take Note
Laura Slaathaug Mar 2018
Try to write when you are happy.

Ask yourself, How do you write

windshields with blues skies on

long car rides, window rolled down, wind in hands;

your bedroom ceiling at golden hour,

light from your window bent into a striped

rainbow of sea-green, yellow and coral;

your niece cackling, lobbing a blue balloon

to your sister, who holds baby Sawyer;

your white cat purring, folding into your side

a thousand times like an origami crane;

the trees bursting with red-pink and white blooms

that quickly appeared in the last few weeks.

What if

(like the peace you have now)

you didn’t notice these things

til the car was parked,

the sun had set,

your niece and nephew had grown,

you had found yourself alone,

and the petals

had left the branches

piece by piece?
Feb 2018 · 191
On February 15th
Laura Slaathaug Feb 2018
I always think of you.
I think of the color green:
the tint of old photos,
the lively dancing of your eyes,
your turtleneck in your
official schoolteacher portrait--
of summer--
the grass under my feet
as I run around the yard
so big to little me
and your wrinkled hand keeping me from running too far--
your curtains hanging in your dining room
when the sunlight peeked through them--
the cushions of the dining room chair
where you sat and talked and ate and
made funny faces
sometimes with curlers still in your hair--
the stems and leaves of wildflowers
that Grandpa picked for you
sitting in a coffee tin on the microwave--
the clover planted in empty ice cream pails
in the living room
and you telling me I was lucky
because I'd found one with four leaves--
the grassy **** blanket on the fold-out
bed in the living room where you
sometimes napped--
the bitter tea you drank
for your weak heart--
and the markings on the cannula tube
snaking up
to the oxygen mask
covering your smiles---
your laughing green eyes
on your last day.
Jan 2018 · 200
Burial Shroud
Laura Slaathaug Jan 2018
Why is the color of death black?
The color of night
of inside a cave
of your mother’s womb
of behind your eyelids.
The color of no color.
For some, it’s white–
of crumbling columns of ash
of salted soil where nothing grows
of days when the sun shines
too bright to see
when you look out your window and
can’t see your mailbox
when you leave home and
drive through clouds of snow
blowing across the highway
of snow dusting the air from
the backs of semis
of ice buried under snow
and you see the fields and trees,
the world shrouded in white
and wonder if
you’ll be buried here too.
Jan 2018 · 116
You Have the World
Laura Slaathaug Jan 2018
The hardest part of letting go
is finding something else to hang onto.
Your hands are empty,
And they fight you,
wanting to curl back onto themselves.
So you open them wider
Here, you can see the sky
in the spaces between each finger
and the cold air lingers on your skin
like an invitation
Nov 2017 · 112
See?
Laura Slaathaug Nov 2017
All of your life, you told them,
you had to learn softness;
how do you make scars smooth again?
Some wounds won’t heal,
because you can’t stop touching them.
The blood on your hands is your own.  
But you wash them now
and let the wounds close like a book
that should have ended long ago.
Look
see?  you tell them,
Palms open and flat like paper.
So, here  
the story starts once more.
Nov 2017 · 152
Start Today
Laura Slaathaug Nov 2017
Don’t give up.
Planting the seed
is always the hardest.
Without beginnings,
there would be no harvest.
Laura Slaathaug Nov 2017
pale knuckles thumping the table,

and purple bruises on your thighs.

Write with smiling eyes and dimpled cheeks,

hands raised high in hallelujah,

and waxy newly healed scars.

Write so hard it hurts.

Write so hard it heals.

Whatever you do,

write it at once.
Oct 2017 · 156
You don’t know,
Laura Slaathaug Oct 2017
and you’re lucky

because God knows already

someday you’ll learn.
Laura Slaathaug Oct 2017
you’ve met the love of your life
in college
before age 25
and you both want to marry in the church on campus
where you met—
flower crowns for the bride and her maids
suspenders and rolled-up sleeves for the
groom and his men.
You want to settle
near both of your parents
(they’re close enough that you won't have to compromise too much)
and work 9 to 5 Monday through Friday in the city  
and spend your weekends on the lake
and boat, jet-skii, watch the sun pass
through the sky and over the water,
where you learned how to swim
(your father threw you in)
and thus, you’ll teach your children.
They will call your mom Grandma
as she makes walleye and hotdish for supper
and they will call your dad Grandpa
as he stokes the campfire for roasting s’mores.
It’s nice to know
no water is bluer and no sky is clearer
even when moon and stars flicker
like lanterns in the wind as the clouds pass over.
It’s nice to never wonder
because you never asked for more.
Laura Slaathaug Aug 2017
Your beard ****** like thorns
your lips soft like leaves
your cheeks as red
and when you smile
you bloom
and mean it
Can a man
be a rose?
Jul 2017 · 340
Stubbornness
Laura Slaathaug Jul 2017
The potted plants on the deck are all dead,
and you are not sure which slip-up to blame:
Ignorance of botany or neglect. 
One *** contained a plant you did not know.
You were not surprised when the orchid died; 
but how did the pine tree drop to dust? 
Now there, you have three pots of dead plant dirt:
crumpled leaves, wilted stems, and dried debris–
of living things conceived, grown, and scattered.
 
You failed
but you can dare 
this dirt 
to start again.
How I feel when I write poems lately.
Jul 2017 · 206
Alexander
Laura Slaathaug Jul 2017
Alexander, I can say things about you
but
they say nothing about you.
I can say you have green eyes
but
you have green eyes often cloaked in shadow and the dark dilation of your pupils.
I can say you have white fur  
but
you have white fur, gray at crown and chin, pale fur fuzz clinging to my fingers.
I can say you purr
but
you hum softly in your throat,
down your back to your tail.
I can say you like to be pet
but
you stiffen under my touch
and relax and roll like a wave
and paw my hand for more.
I can say you like to sleep
but
you sleep upright on the floor one eye open,
curled up in a ball on the bed, 
or 
walloped on me and wedged in my side.
I can say you sleep now
but
you wait--your green eyes
hidden behind your lids
and  your purr slipping into snores.
Laura Slaathaug Jun 2017
a child's first exposure to water:
18 months, curious and shivering,
he runs on brown wet sand
under the wide cloudy sky
to the blue gray lake up to his knees, lapping against his legs.
He feels the mud oozing between his toes.
Light glimmers on the waves,
and splashing, he tries to catch it.
Hands in the wind-tossed water, he grins.
When the wind roars and pushes him back,
his hair stands on end.
he stumbles
and turns and sees his mother,
blonde like him,
her hair wrapped up in a knot, windswept
dressed in white
her belly round and soft and full
like the moon--
there like she always is,
waiting and watching with care
even when he can't see her.
Like the tide coming in,
he goes to her.
Jun 2017 · 629
Lessons Learned from a Tree
Laura Slaathaug Jun 2017

1. It never cuts itself down.

2. After six months, it never gives up hope of budding again and rests in the silence of winter.

3.  When its limbs are severed, something green shoots up where nothing should.

4. When the high wind comes, it stays upright.

5. It grows, never stopping, and rooted, reaches hands first toward the sky.

6. Its only weapons are arms raised high in praise.  

7. Without thinking, sighing branches give shelter; green leaves screen the sunlight and grant dappled shade in high summer.

8. And when it falls, as all things will, the only way to erase its imprint from this world is to rip roots from the earth. Even then, when you look up into the sky, you will still feel its absence.
May 2017 · 524
Defiance
Laura Slaathaug May 2017
You can’t forget;
that there is another way to fight
with an open palm
instead of a closed fist
and with a stubborn refusal
to hurt those who have hurt you
May 2017 · 1.0k
To Have a Daughter
Laura Slaathaug May 2017
Brother, you told me once you were scared
to have a daughter.

You knew this when you baby-sat
a baby girl with your wife,

and you, a former American Army infantryman

melted and was brought down in a way

that the guns you faced in Afghanistan never could.

She’ll be my princess, I remember you saying.

A little girl all dressed in pink,
whatever she’ll ask for, you'll give it.

You were relieved when the first child

you and your wife had was

a baby boy, but to be honest,

you melt all the same,
even 9 months later.

But I’ve always wanted to ask,
“Why are you afraid to have a daughter?”

You know the stories how our mother gave birth for the first time

and how she labored in the car
when she drove herself to the hospital.

And how your pregnant wife came home on her lunches from work

and would cry on the floor because her back hurt so bad,

But she still sat up and went back to work--

the same way our older sister cried on her first day back

from maternity leave and parted with her baby boy for the first time,

the same way Mom went back to work when you and Dad deployed.

What you know of women is that we’re strong,

that we dry our tears and continue on with the world.

Really what we do is keep the world spinning
with the force of how much we love.

So anything, you give your daughter
will be returned in multitudes.

You were taught the same way to love that I was--

instinctively and unconditionally and unrelentingly.

And maybe you’re afraid that your daughter

won’t be able to walk home alone at night

or that no one will listen to her,

And you know this is a poem from your younger sister.

So savor that I’m saying you’re not wrong,
because I don't know when that will happen again.

Your daughter may have to work harder to be heard

and to keep herself safe than any son you have.

But know no matter, how strong she is or how hard she works

that **** still happens

and it won’t be her fault.

and you know because you have two sisters

and you’ve heard our stories.

Statistics say that 1 in 3 women experience ****** or physical violence.

We have one President, who bragged on a Hollywood Access bus

about grabbing women by the *****  

because they let him

and because no one stopped him.

Brother, be scared of the men who would hurt your daughter,

but brother, don’t be scared to have a daughter,

Because she will love you the same way
your wife, your mother,

and your sisters have loved,

that our bodies may break and tear in the doing
but we will choose to do it all over again.
May 2017 · 281
How to Care for Old Wounds
Laura Slaathaug May 2017
If scabs rip off
your skin like buttons
off your collar
and expose flowing blood,
wipe them clean and
retrieve sterile bandages.
Change them each day.
Repeat, watch your sores close.
You'll heal; take care.
And don’t mind if your skin scars.
Instead, take hope.
All you needed was time.
May 2017 · 274
Cognitive Dissonance
Laura Slaathaug May 2017
Like a doctor

you want to cure others'

ailments and injuries.

Do you expect patients,

when you have no patience

for your own pain?
May 2017 · 393
Remember
Laura Slaathaug May 2017
Try to write when you are happy.

How do you write windshields with blue skies on                              

long car rides, window rolled down, wind in hands;

your bedroom ceiling at golden hour,

light from your window bent into a striped                                        

rainbow of sea-green, yellow, and coral;

your niece cackling, lobbing a blue balloon                                          

to your sister, who holds baby Sawyer;

your cat purring, folding into your side                                                  

a thousand times like a origami crane;

the trees bursting with red-pink and white blooms                          

that quickly appeared in the last few weeks;

if that, like the peace you have now, you          

don’t notice them til the petals

have left the branches

piece by piece?
Posting my final edit again because the website seems to be working. Sorry!
Laura Slaathaug May 2017
Write it down, You fear people forget you.
You’re a garden, where children pluck roses
at daylight, singing about the beauty.
When night falls, they trip on roots they can’t see.
With the cold wind at their backs, they leave.
When day comes again, no beauty remains--
Petals and stripped stems crushed by tennis shoes.
Would you want a garden stripped of beauty?
Maybe, if flowers grew again in sunlight,
maybe children would return, laugh, and say,
“See how beautiful. See the beautiful!”
Was it not beautiful yesterday?
       Lying dormant in the earth or sprouting,
       know your roses will always endure here.

Growing, regrowing, roses bloom without thorns.
If you can’t see it, know you are lovely.  
For the effortless way you let them leave–
your petals perfume the feet trampling you.  
        Alone, you wait out the night.
        Even then, you are lovely.
National Poetry Month Day 30. (More like 40 days but......FINALLY.)
May 2017 · 1.1k
Conundrum
Laura Slaathaug May 2017
Doesn't it hurt biting your tongue
and squeezing your mouth shut?
And you keep trying to change--
to be softer, less loud, less of
what the world made you to be.
So, don't keep trying to stay silent;
the wind never does; her songs
echo in the branches overhead.
The river laps and splashes
against the bank.
Someone always hears it;
someone always listens.
If birds call out to each other,
and they always answer,
surely if you speak
someone will understand.
National Poetry Month Day 29
May 2017 · 1.2k
Growth
Laura Slaathaug May 2017
Even on the bottom branch
sometimes, you must be the first
and only
leaf to bud.
National Poetry Month Day 28.....(I can still post these in May, right?)
Apr 2017 · 546
Picking Dandelions
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
Yesterday, you saw a dandelion
and you could have cried.
You remember rolling down green
dandelion-covered hills.
When did you stop racing up
and rolling down hills?
When did you stop flying kites in the high wind
or picking dandelions for your mom
just to see her smile?
Darling, who says you have to
grow old
and accept the creeping stifling cold of
winter?
Who says you have to stop
living?
National Poetry Month Day 27
Apr 2017 · 656
Windows
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
The seasons change
and you paint what you see:
Silver snow banks,
fragile trees with budding leaves
red blossoms, exploding pink roses,
and gold leaves gleaming in puddles.
And we wear the seasons on our backs:
Sweaters with snowflakes,
light-weight light-green silk scarves,
blouses and strappy sandals the color of tulips,
cardigans and boots heavy like the falling leaves.
And so inside reflects the outside---
the sky above the water,
photo next to the paintbrush,
the window on the house,
the window in your living room.
National Poetry Month Day 26.
Apr 2017 · 1.9k
Blossoms
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
The artist paints yellow, pink, and red
roses on her canvas,
glints of blue at the edges
dripping and spilling.
Something for spring, she says.
She gently smiles,
her hand rubbing
the swelling curve
of her belly,
just a black shirt and ragged blue jeans
covering another kind of canvas.
Underneath
something else entirely
waits to bloom.
National Poetry Month Day 25
Apr 2017 · 314
Down the Slope
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
Find the river
where you find the trees,
past the flatland
past the sleepy town
beyond the gold wall
a trail of silver leaves will  
lead you
down the bank
Find the faint smell of mud
and the stirring of naked branches
prickly dead grass and trees
littering the *****—
Some cracked and white and crooked
most brown and brittle
and all of it wild
and weaving and spinning
a web of shadows
A crow may caw and fly into the blue
A red squirrel may scavenge in the dirt and skirt up the tree and pause in the crook
and watch you watching it
A tall cottonwood may creak as you
trespass under it’s hooked branches
and you’ll find it
its tarnished silver rippling
curving and swelling
like a snake
biding its time
National Poetry Month Day 24.
Apr 2017 · 285
Dream of Colors
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
Somewhere it's green
and  dandelions and soft grass
grow on hills
Somewhere it's blue
and the sky and stones meet
the river
Somewhere it's red
and squirrels and bridges
climb higher
Somewhere it's more
than white skies and white streets and
snow falling.
Somewhere you and
I walk in the sun and never
dream of spring.
National Poetry Month Day 23.
Apr 2017 · 531
Another April Snow Day
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
See morning rolls around,
and brings another April snow day

This sleepy town stirs
on white streets under a white sky
And the only lights that shine
are the ones in traffic--
red and yellow watercolor
on the windshield.
We get home, the lights are down.
We lie in bed under the blankets
and dream of spring...
In barrooms across town
others gather ballads and sing.

Drive these roads
See for yourself the sky
flat, where meets it the earth
and the stars glimmering cold
And Polaris promises to bring you home
Even if they let you down,
you'll rise up off the ground
when you hear morning sound,
maybe it’ll bring one more day of sun.
National Poetry Month Day 22. Heavily inspired by "Another Day of Sun" from LaLa Land.
Apr 2017 · 610
Cycles
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
Tell nature that she can’t fit
all seasons into one week.
She’ll laugh so hard that
she’ll make the sun shine on Monday
that she’ll rain tears on Tuesday
that turns into snow on Wednesday
and she’ll start all over again on Thursday
while kids sled on melting snow on green grass
down the hill on Lincoln Drive--
an act of joyous surrender
and you unzip yourself like
the parka you wore for one day
but keep for all seasons.
National Poetry Month Day 21. Nature recycles herself here. Seriously. Don't get too comfortable with the weather.
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
and you have only to take
off your day and
put on your night.
Your worries can't
go to bed with you;
they'd never fit,
not even in a California king.
So, you dust off your dreams
and shrug them on,
old and familiar
And you when you lie in bed, sleep soundly
because you've never given one dream away.
Day 20
Apr 2017 · 289
Why do you?
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
You keep on breaking
your own heart
when you live your doubts
and **** yourself with your what-ifs
So, here's the thing:
People will do the breaking for you
so I ask you why you don't chase kites
and sunshine and free air?  
Unburden yourself
And live as if your heart was never broken,
And if you can't, just think of it as cracked
to let the light in
And to let the poison out
So, climb mountains and rocks
What are men to either?
And all three crumble
No one is invincible,
but some like you are adaptable--
quicksilver, when the earth crumbles around, you will always land
--even if you're on your back
you'll still see the sky wide open with promise
and no one can stop you from reaching
National Poetry Month Day 19
Apr 2017 · 700
I look up at you
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
my head in your lap
my thumb on your cheek
and you look down at me
and say, What?
Nothing, I say
and glance away,
redrawing your face in my mind--
the curve of your nose and cheek,
the steadiness of your eyes,
how your hair just grazes your forehead--
wondering what you're thinking.
I ask you what you're thinking.
And you answer, It's like you expect me to say something.
No, I say. I'm just looking at you.
And I remember
head on the pillow,
thumb on the keys
when I miss you.
National Poetry Month Day 18
Apr 2017 · 350
Reset
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
See how the farmer waits
for his  crop to sprout,
for spring rain to fall,
and for autumn harvest.
So you must too,
wait
Your seeds are being planted.
Know your happiness,
because darling,
you need nothing
but patience.
Or better yet, call it hope.
Natizonal Poetry Month Day 17.
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
At that winter smiles in the North
and melts into mist
and returns a few weeks later
with soft snow flakes from the sky,
on an April afternoon
the same day the sun wore
her yellow raiment
and the grass put on her green dress
in preparation for spring.
The trees know better
and wisely kept their leaves tucked
up in their buds and sleep still,
warmed by the hardened shell of their skin.
We learn it is better to wait, to plant our seeds
–instead of letting their promises freeze
like our uncovered fingers and toes
during the false fade of winter.
So the sandals are put away,
and the scarves, gloves, and fleeces
come out of storage.
It feels cold now, but you smile
because you remember that
you are still warmer than the days
that turned your fingers blue with ache
and turned your breath into mist.
They say there is a season for all things,
and now growing things lie still,
except for you.
So, you wait
and grow more patient.
National Poetry Month Day 16
Apr 2017 · 312
Uncertainty
Laura Slaathaug Apr 2017
We talk about beginnings and endings
like we know what they are and can spot them
coming around the corner or predict
them like a green light turning red in traffic.
But really, we're just stuck in the middle
of a book without titles or chapters-
a movie without rewinds or pauses
or dramatic music in the brackground.
Instead you'll hear your steady inhales and
your exhales, your heartbeats,your thoughts echo.
National Poetry Day 15. Prompt - Middles
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