Letter to Myself at Sixteen by special guest Erica Goss

“Here is the question: If you could talk to your 16-year-old self, what would you say?  What advice, warnings, or encouragement would you give your younger self?”

 

Letter to Myself at Sixteen

I saw you on the street today

eyeliner planting little black seeds

in your tear ducts.

I picture you reading this

in one of your dreams, a jumble

of banned books, torn paper, frayed

blankets and advertising logos

where you work on your future

every rough or delicate detail

like the pieces in a child’s wooden puzzle:

shaped for incremental comprehension.

In this dream I have

your brief attention:

the past cannot be censored

and my archaeology is your future.

I want to protect you, bony girl

warn you away from what dazzles you

snatch the broken glass from your plate

but I’m just another

grown-up woman, creased brow

and a purse stuffed with middle-age

heading home to a quiet house

where paper sacks

filled with outgrown toys

wait by the door.

Letter to Myself at Sixteen by Erica Goss

Erica Goss

____________________________________________________© 2012 Erica Goss

Letter to Myself at Sixteen by Erica GossErica Goss bio:  Erica Goss is the winner of the 2011 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Contest. Her chapbook, Wild Place, was published in 2012 by Finishing Line Press.  Her poems, articles and reviews have appeared in many journals, most recently Connotation Press, Hotel Amerika, Pearl, Main Street Rag, Rattle, Eclectica, Blood Lotus, Café Review, Zoland Poetry, Comstock Review, Lake Effect, and Perigee.  She won the first Edwin Markham Poetry Prize in 2007, judged by California’s Poet Laureate Al Young, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2010.  Erica is a contributing editor for Cerise Press, and writes a column on video poems for Connotation Press.  She holds an MFA from San Jose State University. Visit her website.

The Gift of an Extra Day

We all claim we need more time.  If I just had an extra hour or two I would…  Or, if only I had half a day I would have been able to…  Well guess what people?  Today is that day!  Today is Leap Day, giving you an extra 24 hours—a whole day—to do whatever you want.  Leap Year adds an extra day to the calendar on February 29 once every four years.

 

The Gift of an Extra Day by Victoria M. JohnsonI’m using my time wisely.  I’m writing this blog post, sharing my thoughts, and I’ve added a beautiful earthquake poem on one of my other web sites, Fierce Planet.  Lately I haven’t had the time to blog as often as I’d like.  What with the grand opening celebrations of the new Los Gatos Library (I’m on the Friends of the library board) and becoming president of Scriptscene (the screenwriting chapter of the Romance Writers of America), Poetry Group meetings (I’m on the April Poetry Month committee), speaking engagements, and February being a busy month anyway, I just needed a day to get caught up.  I’m taking down my Christmas tree, too.  Don’t be alarmed.  I usually leave my tree up until Valentine’s Day, so I’m only a couple weeks behind.  I’ll have time not only to write, but also to read.  Yay!  Reading is a luxury these days.  A friend is writing a memoir and I look forward to seeing her progress.  I also have plans for tonight.  I’m making a special dinner for my special husband.  Candlelight?  Yes.  Wine?  Yes.

 

So if only for one day I’m slowing down, decompressing, getting caught up on a few things, and enjoying the good things in my life.  What about you?  What will you do with your extra 24 hours?