IN MY HEART
after E.E. Cummings
Here’s the secret: nobody knows
what the moon is made of. Nobody
understands our bodies’ common cheese,
or how vocal cords vibrating in a hot wind
can reach a harmony that pleases, even in dissonance.
Nobody knows why that tomato chose to birth itself
out of the compost pile, wrapping its vines
around the lone milkweed. Or how the praying
mantis managed its miraculous escape
just before I heaved the weed it perched on
and accidentally uprooted the volunteer tomato,
which I dug a hole for in the garden
and watered, though I don’t have much hope
for its survival. Yet, some of us persevere
like plants, sprouting where we don’t belong,
dragging our faltering bodies, foggy minds
all to look at the moon, to say: This matters.
This is why I’m still alive.
Prompt: “Write a poem after E.E. Cummings’ ‘[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in].’”
—from Rattle #81, Fall 2023
Tribute to Prompt Poems
D. Dina Friedman: “Prompts open a pathway to new perspectives, whether it’s a shortcut to my own subconscious, or simply an alternate way of seeing.” (web)