Stanford's Continuing Studies Program. I took a memoir class and the next semester I took a poetry class. While that period of time was extremely stressful with the kids/house work, those classes kept my spirits up.
Want to read a silly poem I wrote while taking the class at Stanford? My homework assignment was to write a Pastoral Poem. It's about a kid named Steven who moves to the suburbs. I put Steven into everything I write when I don't want it to look like I'm writing about myself. He is always swearing. Now that I think about it, he reminds me of Owen.
I remember having so much fun writing it, reading it to the class, and then getting it critiqued to death. I love a good edit. I forgot to make the changes when I came home, though. I've since lost my notes. That was never the point anyway, to become a poet. I had good time with it and moved on. I wouldn't mind taking another writing class soon. For nothing else, to experience the exciting rush of working on something and the nervous energy while sharing it to the class. Love that feeling.
Steven’s Front Yard
When he found out his family was moving out of the city,
He thought it would be ideal if his front yard was the size Golden Gate Park.
So could run barefoot onto snakes and poisonous weeds.
See yards without sprinklers.
Play on land not framed by sidewalks and cable lines and street lights.
Use swear words into a walkie talkie.
Then find home.
And with poppies in his pockets say
Mom I’m hungry. Mom I want lunch.
But he moved to a yellow house on Chesterton Street.
For reasons he has no control over.
The public schools. The rent. His dad’s commute.
The yard is just large enough to fit a bounce house.
He told seven of his city friends it’s the size of a football field.
They haven’t come down to visit.
Two Mexicans mow the lawn on Monday.
He waves and shouts, “Hola!” his living room window.
One of the mowers waves back and says, “Hello.”
By Friday, the weeds and flowers return, bees too.
Steven stepped on one of those bees and it stung his foot.
The next day he stepped in dog poo.
Now he wears shoes and white socks.