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Wednesday, March 14, 2007 02:21 am

People's poetry

Presented by Jacqueline Jackson

Untitled Document grandchildpoem #5       
she began talking the moment she
heard my voice grandma wyatt is
using the s-h word and
he’s watching a dvd and it has smoking and drugs and the s-h word and I don’t think he should be watching that dvd with
smoking and drugs and the
s-h word my daughter claimed the receiver
confirmed the accusation rachel
is having drug education at school
what is a drug well caffeine
is one so coffee is receiving her approbation
and most sodas smoking of course
is wicked and should not be on
wyatt’s film but the s-h word is
one both she and her brother are
not allowed to use it is shut up

© Jacqueline Jackson 2007
Those big cherry flavored wax lips that my friends and I used to buy when I was a boy, well, how could I resist this poem by Cynthia Rylant of Oregon?
Wax Lips
Todd’s Hardware was dust and a monkey —
a real one, on the second floor —
and Mrs. Todd there behind the glass cases. We stepped over buckets of nails and lawnmowers to get to the candy counter in the back, and pointed at the red wax lips, and Mary Janes, and straws full of purple sugar. Said goodbye to Mrs. Todd, she white-faced and silent, and walked the streets of Beaver, our teeth sunk hard in the wax, and big red lips worth kissing.

“Wax Lips” by Cynthia Rylant from Waiting to Waltz (Copyright © 2001 by Cynthia Rylant). Reprinted with permission of the author, whose most recent book of poetry is Ludie’s Life (Harcourt, 2006). This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Ted Kooser served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2004-2006. For more information, go to www.americanlifeinpoetry.org.
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