National Poetry Month 2023: Day 20

Apologies for not posting another poem last night. It was a very long day at work — it has in fact been a verrrrrry looooong week — so much so that I actually might have kinda fallen asleep after I got home, sitting up on the couch, reading through the day’s mail. No lie. So I’m going to post three poems this weekend to make up for it, starting tonight.

It’s no secret to anyone here (or in a lot of other places, frankly) that Houston is a marvelous city for poetry. We have a lot of things going for us — in no particular order:
* the landscape (yes, really!)
* the University of Houston (one of the best Creative Writing programs in the country for decades now)
* a world-class arts industry
* soooo many presses and well-regarded Creative Writing institutions
* a literary culture
* a thriving and multi-varied poetry reading scene
* tons of writers/authors, including poets
* a relatively inexpensive cost of living for one of the major cities in the U.S.

It is the place to be.

One of Houston’s well-loved poets is Sandi Stromberg, and I always enjoy featuring one of her thoughtful poems in this series.

Leaving Comfort, Texas on FM 473

Young, lithe, lovely, the doe races
down the farm-to-market road,
dodging my car, searching
for courage. The buck she runs with
carries a rack of antlers that mark him
seasons older. But age makes no difference
to them. With the elegant grace
of a ballet dancer, he leaps the six-foot,
barbed-wire fence and pauses in the field,
turning his head toward her as they begin
a parallel course. His eyes command,
“Jump. Jump. Now. Now.”
And I think of my own fears of leaping
as I pull to the side of the road.
The doe charges the barrier. Each time,
when her young legs refuse to leap, my blood
leaps for them, my breath held as she halts,
lowers her head in what seems a moment
of prayer, or perhaps the prayer is mine.


Sandi Stromberg is thrilled to announce that her poetry collection, Frogs Don’t Sing Red, is now in production with Kelsay Books. A devotee of ekphrastic poetry, she recently joined the editorial staff of The Ekphrastic Review. Her poetry has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net and has most recently appeared in Unknotting the Line: The Poetry in Prose, MockingHeart Review, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Sappho’s Torque, The Ekphrastic Review, Panoply, San Pedro River Review, and the anthology woodlands: nature-magic-mystery-myth. 


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