Day 15: High and Low

After a hellish day at work, I treated myself to a massage. (High). Then I talked to my son for a half an hour on the phone. (High). Then I found out that, for the third summer in a row, I did NOT get a writing residency for which I had applied. (Low). Then I had a little quiet time to freak out, thinking why bother? and maybe I just don’t have anything valuable to share. (Low.) Then I pet my dog. (High). Then I started working on today’s poem…and I’m back somewhere in the middle.


Today’s poem continues the little cycle from Days 13 and 14. I like the idea, but the form and language are still quite rough. It’s about all I can muster right now.

When “No” Is A Diamond Brooch…

…you want to keep it safe, respect its rough journey

through generations, its passage from mother to daughter

as payoff for silence. Now it is ready to break this cycle,


its stones loose in their settings, stickpin poking the tonsils,

propped on the tongue’s lapel as glimpses of its glimmer

slip from between the gaps in your teeth. The pawnbroker


is watching. Pull it reluctant from your lips, await his appraisal,

his acceptance or denial, what he thinks it is worth, this

lovely, shimmering thing cached in the cavern of your mouth.



5 thoughts on “Day 15: High and Low

  1. Actually, the form works well: the long lines provide a stately, reflective pace appropriate to the theme. Also, there’s an effective tension between what’s revealed and what’s hinted at. I think it’s a strong piece, whether complete or in transit.

    My only query is (and maybe I’m peering at the obvious), why brooch in mouth?

  2. I like the ideas, pacing, language. I think the title gives a hint so pulling the broach out of the mouth is not quite as surprising, but still an unusual metaphor.

    That the broach packs so much lineage (familial history) is interesting to me.

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