I remember working on this one with my students. They didn’t care for this assignment, and I didn’t either. The idea was to create an illogical world, a world where anything could happen, a world where nothing made sense. It was hard. We all felt like what we were writing was horrible. Then we took our illogical world, and we examined it. Changing it as little as possible, or none if possible, we found the logic in it. We found the truth. Then we put it through a couple more drafts, cutting, always cutting with poetry, and finally made it look like a poem.
Someday I’ll be big enough
“I can’t hold this thing up forever,” Dad says,
already losing his grip on the moon,
his fingers digging deeper into the dust,
searching for a hold.
“I almost have it,” the boy says.
“There it is.” The boy grasps a purple plastic case.
The makeup inside rattles,
causing clouds to gather and a thunderstorm to begin to form,
rumbling around his waist.
“What were you doing with your sister’s makeup anyway?” the father asks,
gently putting the moon back in place.
He claps his hands and
wipes them on his pants.
The dust falls, filling in a small lake.
“Someday I’ll be big enough to touch the moon.”
The boy clutches the box to his chest,
hops on a passing cloud and calls,
“Sissy! I found it.”
As he rides the cloud
he smells the rain coming,
the smell of clean and dirty mixed together
makes him grin.
His sister appears tiptoeing
along a ridge of mountains.
Her little feet crush aspen and pine,
and send boulders crashing down the slopes.
She snatches a handful of the broken trees and
pops them into her mouth.
The taste of pine and squirrel,
bluebird and spiders,
and a hundred other natural things
tickle her tongue.
“Sorry I lost it,” he says.
His sister stops, grins,
takes the box from her brother,
and playfully knocks him off his cloud.