Poetry Is a Mirror

{August 22, 2008}   Family Poem

ASSIGNMENT: Write a family poem: Love, bond, baby girl, husband, life

— Ivelisse Z.


Breakfast at the Inn: A Family Poem

For Ivelisse Z.


The Georgia peach to my left

introduces herself and her pink-faced daughters,

explains her husband was too busy with work

to join them at the beach this weekend,

and would I pass the pitcher of cream, please.

I introduce myself, my own grown daughter,

who is sipping coffee from a mug, at my right.

“And where’s your husband,” Miss Peach asks,

smug as you please.

“My what?” I ask.

“Your husband,” in her lilting Georgia-ese.

“Oh,” I say, smothering my French toast

in puddles of maple syrup.

“I don’t have one of those.” The tone of my voice

carries an eye-roll and a puh-lease!

My life has never been the perfect

yellow-orange-pink of a ripe cut fruit.

My story would run far longer

than it will take for this Georgia Peach

to sop up the last of her runny eggs with her toasted bread

and leave. Love, bonds, a baby girl. No husband.

My life has been a strange and precious fruit,

which is what I’d like to say when Miss Georgia tries her pretty best

to console poor lil’ ole’ me:

“That’s okay, I guess,” she says.

“It is,” I answer, “exactly what it is.”



— Tzivia


Joanne says:

Wow, I love this syrupy, juicy, fleshy poem.
Even more so having heard the “prose” version of the experience while riding bikes with you this summer.

Thank you to the student who requested it. It becomes a gift to all who read it.

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