I love words and dig poetry slams. I've been writing poetry since I was about 5 years old and my mother tells everyone I was born with a pen in my hand. I am a project manager by profession and reside in Utah with my handsome husband and our two outstanding children. You can read more of my work and follow my poetry adventures here: http://trishhopkinson.com/.
He brought us here, to this juniper desert,
across Midwestern state borders into broken promise,
sloughing family fragments like tire treads along the way.
I-80 rose up like Hell’s Backbone, egoistic and narrow-
sighted with drops on either side of slight rails.
We should have been safe in the valleys,
miles away from Boulder Mountain . . .
And yet I learned to fear altitudes,
the uncertainty of my own feet,
the distant perspective of abandonment.
Two years gone. Maybe it wasn’t long enough.
The knee-locking dread never subsides.
Instead, vertigo sets in on each downward step,
handrails clinched each time I try high heels
and the teetering always sets me down bare.
How can I be bowed into such spinelessness,
faint at the sight of red clay cliffs and sloping pines--
a grand staircase. Father Escalante would pray for me
to forgive. He would level my landings. He would lead
me to grace.
--originally published by Wicked Banshee Press in Issue #2 Fall 2014.
pieced into treetops,
pulled from solar beams
like x-ray vision,
like kites with super powers,
tugging on their strings,
trying to dip bow-tied tails
into the glare.
The tether holder below
salutes above the brow
to shade his eyes
and hold the kite to the earth,
where it belongs--
where people stand in the dark
of diamond-shaped shadows,
crossed for support,
and weighted by an unending
spool of twine.
hovers atop candles,
fed by a waxed-dipped thread,
like floss through teeth,
like paraffin angels
with melting myth wings
trying to climb above clouds,
to sit and watch over.
The masses below
kneel next to altars
to shade their ache
and hold the flame to the soul,
to warm their desires
where candles jump in the dark
from drafts beneath doors,
supported by a cross
and weighted by the unending
ugly of guilt.
--originally published by SLCC Community Writing Center in Pieced Into Treetops (a chapbook by Trish Hopkinson). 2013.
Huddled in the corner
where only a creak of light
cast a thin line ’cross his back.
Belief’s blackness pressed into his sympathy
like a fire-heated symbol meant for permanence,
meant for slavery.
Ears marked with indoctrination
and freedom castrated by abstinence,
his hands ached for resolution, for reason,
for something to clean the char
from beneath his fingernails.
His voice strained with the rasp
of each unanswered question
and his teeth bent with the burden
as his tongue tore away at vision.
He saw the brand waiting in the flame.
He saw the labels that it made.
It took him years to leave his religion.
--originally published by Kind of a Hurricane Press in Switch (The Difference) anthology. 2014.
In a Room Made of Poetry
Think how loss pulls language from us until
it swallows everything,
like undiagnosed cancer,
the accumulated past--
less eye, less mouth, less heart.
We had, not much--
thin coffee, thin socks. Here you can
wait, with desire, with
for an open womb. That heart-balm
as hope. The raw
bent—a bowl of fruit
in a language I never knew . . .
without tails, crosses of ts. The autonomous dot of a
blackness answers, “There are only ifs.”
--found in The Eyes of a Flounder by Laura Hamblin (page numbers in order of above lines): 25, 9, 58, 40, 61, 50, 55, 30, 3, 39, 42, 66, 67, 62, 8 and title from page 64.
--originally published by The Found Poetry Review in Volume 8. 2014.
©2015 Trish Hopkinson