Poetry 101: Caesura
A sudden stop, mid-line, like freeze tag
or the held breath before each round
of Red Rover. You heard river and forged
rough currents to reach the other shore—
a different game. In your mind, those classmates
are still kids at recess. You are still waiting
for them to call your name.
Poetry 101: Haiku
5-7-5 sounds like the measurements
of Skipper, Barbie’s sturdy younger sister.
She had high tops instead of heels,
tennis togs, skis. In one model, you twisted
an arm to make small breasts bud on her
rubber chest. She never got Ken, but she
got something better: bendable knees.
Poetry 101: Slant Rhyme
Identical twin brothers you knew in school—
one went to Yale, one joined a punk band.
Years later, one was crashing with friends
the summer you, too, were between lives.
You slept with him on a twin mattress
with no sheets—a one-night stand.
You never asked if he was Dave or Dan.
eighth book of poems, Human Resources, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as The Georgia Review, Southern Poetry Review, North American Review, Glass, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. Her awards include The Normal School Poetry Prize, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and a Best of the Net award. She is editor of three anthologies from the University of Nebraska Press and SUNY Press and serves as Poetry Editor of The Summerset Review. She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Penn State Altoona.
Author’s website: www.erin-murphy.com