First Poem Published

My first publication.

This is the one that started it all.  Although I’ve always considered myself a fiction writer, I’ve published mostly poetry.   Of course, I have just returned to writing and publishing after a 10 year sabbatical of sorts, so we will see if I can get some fiction published.

In the meantime, this is the first poem I published.  The funny thing is, I never intended to write poetry; poetry found me.  This is the second poem I had ever written.  It was for Jon Tribble’s beginning poetry class at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  I struggled every week for something to turn in, while it seemed, everyone else had a workbook of material to pull from each week. After that class ended, I took a gamble and sent this poem in with two others to Grassroots for its Fall 1999 issue (yes, that long ago!).  This one was accepted.  Enjoy!


Cool September breeze ruffles

the cheap, tattered peach color hair tie.

Lovely off-white recital gown

laced with light pink ribbon lays loosely on your skin.

A dull plastic pearl necklace—

perfect for the performance.

Luscious cantaloupe colored gloss,

fuchsia nails as possible finishing accessories

The stage cages you with its cheap metal.

There is no release.

Death is the only null in your contact.

But, even death would never redeem

your torture whether it be in heaven or hell.

That never mattered—

they still wanted more.

They went ahead.

Poked your side.

Yanked your tail.

Batted your head.

You are not human.

You just wear the dress

your owner gave you.

Feelings are not yours to feel.

You are incapable of it.

They said so.

What happens when you are the monkey in the cage?

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