If I Read My Poems Out Loud, Helen Haskell Remien

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If I read my poems out loud

I won’t be able to hold it back-

my breath that billows,

my voice that booms

and I might hear my mother’s voice,

if I read my poems out loud,

saying lower your voice

or shut your mouth up

or stop your shrieking,

and I might see her eyes

beneath her sixties cat-rimmed glasses,

and I might shrink, if I read my poems out loud.

I might even leave the room and my poems

will wonder where their mother went

and they will be out there naked, all alone,

or maybe, just maybe,

if I hear my mother’s voice saying

Helen, put a lid on it,

I’ll reply, oh go stuff it!

I’m uncovering the pot,

I’m stirring the stew.

I might start singing my poems.

might say to myself this is better

than Blackberry Avalanche Ice Cream,

this is a double-decker chocolate sundae of pleasure.

I might even turn around and fly my wings

if I read my poems out loud.

Helen Haskell Remien lives in Ishpeming where she teaches yoga and creativity workshops, performs as a storyteller, writes poems and essays, and directs Joy Center, a creativity center open to the community. She has published two books of poetry, Diving Down and Wild Ground.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2010 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2010, Intuitive Learning Creations. All rights reserved.