“Backpacking in the Mark Twain National Forest”

DAY 16 PAD

Write a mixed-up poem. I wrote one last week. That was the poem I didn’t post but I wasn’t feeling it today so I wrote a new one. This one is about mixed up feelings. She thinks she’s in love and she thinks he is, too, but from his actions it’s obviously he is more in love with himself than her. Mixed up love all around.

“Backpacking in the Mark Twain National Forest”

I thought it was love
at the trail when the katydids fell on our heads
like hail,

clawing down our shirts, between the clefts
of every secret body space that left us laughing
and grabbing and stripping to shake them off.

We stopped
for lunch under the persimmon tree, its fruit fresh
and gushy stabbing our eyes and my world was
hazed

in purple
flirty words that drizzled down our chins to the
soles of our feet.

I remember
you saved your dog’s hair in a bag so your grandma
could card the fur to knit a scarf and I thought that
was love

in every which way and I thought you proved it
when we slid into our sleeping bags, you even
sprinkled garlic in my hair to ward off the creatures
of the night

almost as if you had known that an animal disguised
as a man would speak with a knife in the wee
hours, stealing your tongue and robbing you of
your chivalry.

I thought when the visible scars faded, so would the
memory, but the invisible scars hurt even more.

I think I finally figured out what I really needed that
night—

I needed you to cry for me.

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