Thursday, April 30, 2015

There are many tasks you have to do when you’re about to move. In this poem defrosting the freezer unearths some important memories, and reminders of what will be left behind.



Defrosting the Freezer

One container of spaghetti sauce
Grandma made before she died.

Two old pieces of wedding cake
you couldn’t pay me to eat.

Three snowballs from last winter,
slightly deformed, no longer fluffy.

Four small flounder from the time
Grandpa took me deep-sea fishing.

Everything coated in a thick
white layer of sadness.      

from Moving Day by Ralph Fletcher


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spider Web

An elusive thing
at the birth of spring:
the first fine web
of a spiderling.

You can’t hardly feel it,
it’s almost not there,
caressing your face,
lighter than air.


          by Ralph Fletcher

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Two for Tuesday. The first one is a science poem, and gives
a good way to remember what H20 means. The second is a sad
love poem.

H20

The recipe
       for water is
the same as
       it’s always been:

two parts
       hydrogren
one part
       oxygen.

Two-to-one
       that’s the rule
to make a water
       molecule.


Waiting for the Splash

Last night
after you hung up
I wrote you a poem
hoping it might
change your heart.

This morning
I tell myself:
Get serious, man.
Someone once compared
writing a poem
and hoping it will
change the world
to dropping rose petals
down a deep well

waiting for the splash.


from I Am Wings: Poems about Love

© Ralph Fletcher. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 27, 2015


This is a poem about how it feels after you go to a
family reunion, and get to hang out with all the
relatives.

Shrink-Wrapped

We leave the reunion, go home
to a house that’s much too quiet.

No more tag or kick-the-can of
killer croquet with my cousins.

No more bloody war stories
told by my big-bellied uncles.

No more staying up late watching TV
while the grownups crazy-laugh
around the kitchen table.

Just us. Boring us.

Our family becomes
like a package of plums
shrink-wrapped
at the supermarket—

so small and tight
I can hardly breathe.

from Relatively Speaking: Poems About Family

Sunday, April 26, 2015


                Aquarium

Knife-dancing angels playfully fight.
Snails move slow and often stop.
Guppies gaze through watery windows
Hung with curtains of swirling light.

Fish hear secrets and never tell.
Most sleep and eat and keep in pairs.
They listen to me in perfect silence:
I should listen half as well.

I study my fish and they study me,
Our worlds bridged by heavy glass.
But I am dry and far too heavy;
I clomp to the kitchen gracelessly.

At times my land life seems out of whack:
No fins, no gills, with unwebbed feet.
Life on earth began in the water—
Today I swear I’d gladly go back.

                          by Ralph Fletcher

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Beach Baby

She’s one year old. One tooth. A total pudge.
She tries to get out of the water but her
soaked diaper must weigh
ten thousand pounds
so all she can do is
sit.

Later she sees me eating cheese puffs
and toddles over, towering above me,
a baby so giant she blocks out the sun,
sticks out her hand and yells: MINE’S!

Her mother hustles over, apologizes,
and hauls her back to their blanket.
Then the baby starts eating sand, grinning,
grinding the grains with that one tooth.

    from Have You Been To The Beach Lately? by Raph Fletcher

Friday, April 24, 2015


Tapeworm


I don’t mind snakes
or wriggling worms
though one of them
sure makes me squirm.

Deep in your gut
the tapeworm waits
and eats the food
fresh off your plate.

No need to hunt—
it takes your food,
stealing meat
that you just chewed.
                     
It knows one thing:
 eat, eat, eat, eat;
this parasite grows
to fifty feet!

Most snakes are cool
and eels, no doubt,
but tapeworms
I could live without.

            by Ralph Fletcher