It's just poetry, it won't bite


07.30.10 Posted in today's words by

How do you solve a problem like Maria? And how do you describe someone like Elizabeth? Hailing from Texas, transplanted to New Jersey by way of St. Louis, she is a force of nature. She is a chef, a writer, an organizer, an activist, and an insomniac. She could make someone manic feel slothful. Her poetry is hard-hitting and alive; she does not sweat the small stuff and she does not look away from the tough stuff. To keep up with a few of her ongoing activities visit her blog and her WAMPP site. To hear her read a version of this poem (and talk about a bunch of other stuff in her own inimitable accent!), listen to this episode of 15 Minutes of Poetry. And then read these words again.

By Elizabeth Stelling

Fifteen hundred and twenty days seem like a lifetime
when a silver lining welcomes us

long days, two jobs, hot kitchens brought comfort
passing more and more hours, my reflection grew clear

in polished metal stature, every angle giving solace
cocaine-free attitudes, new faces

conversation laced with emotion keeping apartments
spotless as number one son’s record of change

graduating and hard work, into a girl’s arms
adventure, escape, and new taste sought

barbecue chicken pizza and white chili amazement
two rivers surround us with history and color

a modification away from racists southern brothers
sisters who looked away at couples walking with no shame

blending beliefs, cultures of free thinking
the perfect choice for renewal, the perfect life

Son we passed through this gate once, and will again
onto a northeastern passage

4 Responses to “Arch”

  1. Elizabeth, you’ve brought me through a couple of decades I had tucked away (60’s-70’s)with this wonderful poem.

  2. “my reflection grew clear”

    It certainly did. This piece was a mirror held up to a life lived with purpose and obviously still striding forward.

  3. Jessie Carty says:

    I love the whole new tastes part. Nicely done 🙂

  4. bobbie troy says:

    Powerful and moving indeed.

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