Thursday, May 24, 2012

2 poems by Net Poet Society poet Dede Fox

After the unexpected publication of her poem "Here and Now" in the 2006 Lone Star College literary journal, Dede Fox decided she enjoyed having an audience.  She signed up for an InPrint poetry workshop, bonded with her fellow writers, and became a working poet.   Her "Chapultepec Park" won AIPF’s 2008 Christina Sergeyevna Award, and she was twice a juried poet at Houston Poetry Festival.  .  Dede’s poetry appears in the Texas Poetry Calendar, di-verse-city, Sol Magazine, The Enigmatist, The Poetry Revolt, and Swirl.  TCU Press published her children’s novel and Highlights Magazine several of her non-fiction articles. Librarian at Collins Intermediate in the Woodlands, Dede has taught with Houston’s Writers in the Schools program and is on the board of the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council. 


            No evil fairy heaped curses upon

this charmed child with hair like swirled

honey, chocolate brown eyes, creamy

skin sweet with kisses.  Laughter bubbled

from her, sweet grandchild, long awaited.


           Grandmother, overjoyed, wove

dresses from the finest flax, combed

wool for the softest blankets, knit

tiny sweaters until her fingers bled.

Gnarled walking cane in hand, she hobbled

long miles, presented her gifts to the royal family.

          Ladies-in-Waiting recoiled at the pungent

odor of the salve spread on Grandmother’s aching

limbs, covered their noses with lace handkerchiefs

while children hid behind their skirts, pointed and

jeered at Grandmother’s simple clothes and manners.

Blushing, her princess daughter turned away,

distracted the court with the antics of her baby.   

          Grandmother limped home. Soon twisted

vines tightened over her cottage, so far from the palace.

The old woman no longer threw open shutters, lost

hope of seeing her daughter or granddaughter travel

down the slow path in her dark woods.

          The curse was on her, Grandmother gifted

with a precious child she could neither see nor hear

nor smell nor hold close.

          Anger fueled Grandmother’s stone oven,

with a fire so intense that it baked her into a wrinkled

old crone who hacked away entanglements.

          She covered her cottage with sweets--

honey swirls, chocolate kisses, creamy caramels--

waited to lure small strangers inside, ones so delicious

that she could keep them caged, fatten them,

                                                    and eat them up. 

~Dede Fox 

I have worn your street number
like a hated tattoo--
removal will be painful.

Inspectors say your cast iron pipes decayed
under a slab riddled with fault lines,
like our grieving family.

Nine months to repair,
nine months to say

Notes flutter from every open drawer;
reminders of things lost and found,
found and lost.

What treasure lies beneath layers of labels
peeled from the phone? A number
to reconnect a mother’s scattered thoughts?

At the bottom of a painted wooden bowl.
lie memories of a father’s fingers cracking
pecans with a nutcracker, silver as tears.

In bedrooms
no sock left unknotted,
no pocket unchecked.

Many spill hidden riches:
an old letter, a tarnished spoon,
watches repaired by Grandpa’s steady hands.

Bright patches inside faded wallpaper
trace spaces once filled with grandchildren’s art;
stair-stepped little ones once pointed with pride.

Will buyers know there are mismatched door keys
four, the number of children raised here,
each unique?

5546, a street number,
echoing heartbeats,
enduring tattoo.
~Dede Fox

Other poems by Dede Fox:

Spring Cleaning

Video poems by Dede Fox:

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