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  • Writer's pictureMarie Smysor Watson

I'm A Poet...

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

... and I never knowed it! Seriously, I never even liked poetry when I was younger (sorry, Carl) and only started writing it in earnest over the past year. Imagine my surprise then, when I received a POETRY award from a college named for one of America's most famous poets (and our very own hometown boy done good.) Not only that, so did my youngest son and so did my oldest son - the latter isn't terribly surprising, as he's been writing verse for some years now, and is envyingly good at it. Apparently, we're a family of poets now, which means if you need someone roasted in a vague but lyrical fashion, we're your people!

Here they be - we'll go from youngest to oldest, so the baby finally gets a chance to be first...


Sam Watson

Try to make me feel ashamed Though you have done the same Try to make me take the blame Like it doesn’t even matter at that point Don’t try anymore You’re a hollow shell And when you start to smell You shut me up like a closed bag But you can’t wash me up like a dirty rag You’re nervous when I prove you wrong Then try to say you don’t belong No, my friend we don’t go That was way too long ago We aren’t going that route So I go the other way You have a sense of doubt Of what I have to say You try to tell me to stop But I just keep on going about you And how you don’t respond This is the true you Making everyone feel like they’re at fault

Then you play the victim But the dead have no more salt They have been evicted I am convicted. So the next time you try to make me feel down Do it with reason Instead of beating a dead horse Find a better season for your treason.

He really was proud... he's just too cool to show it!

And then the Big Boy...

***50 nerd points if you get the poetic reference in the title and first few lines***

and finally, me...

Last Day

Marie Smysor Watson

On the last day you could run, walk

Did we talk ourselves into a fight? Right - I don’t remember

I do remember we weren’t getting along

As people who are married for years don’t get along

But still manage to get by on the fly

Not bad, but like separated peanut butter and moldy jelly

Something’s off, rough

I don’t remember the weather, whether or not I wore coat

(probably, it was March)

But I do remember you called and I was irritated

that you killed my quiet

Boys were sleeping

I wanted silence, only breath keeping time

Don’t bother me, I thought but maybe didn’t say

There would so many tomorrows when I would not be mad at you

I had today to be short so I cut you short

Then you were cut down, then lifted up

I watched the helicopter, my heart tethered tight to my ribs

That was the last day I knew peace

In the hospital parking lot, I folded

Those special grievances into a tight rectangle, put them

In an overstuffed pocket, locked up

For safekeeping, for another day, not this one

Taken out again, later, folded, refolded, they molded

The creases filled with dirt and righteousness

Spoiled sorrow-shadows

I finally threw them away yesterday, fourteen years on.

Their last day found them in the trash upstairs, amongst

Coffee grounds and captured dog hair.

I’m done with this, I say out loud as I should’ve done long ago

(Really, I know better! I know how this ends!)

Goodbye, old friends! After that I rested, and it was good.

So, I can’t believe I’m saying this but -

I’m sorry to see them go.

Their weight has been a comfort on lonesome mornings,

I am too light now

Nothing to carry, weary

Time, without gravity, flying.

Once upon a time,

There was a last day I picked up each of our sons

And a last day that I nursed them

And a last day that I was pregnant with them

(Sorry boys, I remember nothing)

Oh, it’s not fair! Last days are too square

No rounded edges to file my memory on

The slackness comes after, the band

Stretched too tight doesn’t snap back


Leaving too much room for what-ifs, for too many soggy wishes, compared

Well, then (shoulders squared!)

This means there will be a last day that we kiss

And a last day that we fight

Maybe they will be the same day


You do a thing and then you don’t anymore

There is nothing gradual about loss

My only solace -

A last day will come for my grief

Finally packing its bags, heading out for a more temperate clime

Maybe it’s today - so long, arrivederci, sayonara, tschuss, onward!

(Hey, send a postcard!)

But maybe tomorrow.

There you have it, friends - a family of wordsmiths! Not as lucrative as being the grand matriarch of a crime family, but a whole lot less illegal... and certain to have a happier ending!

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