Poetry from Laurie Kolp

Taekwondo Testing*
She reminds me of a willow
tree, whispers my husband
but to me she’s an elegant
gazelle, springing to
spot number two
on the gymnasium floor, and
number one is my son, standing
like an observant sentinel
until the master’s Kyuhng Nyeh!
calls them to attention
and they both move in sync–
the gazelle and sentinel–
fists tight, knees bent
one stiff step at a time.
*First published in Poetry Quarterly, 2013

//
Like Van Gogh*
A listening ear, spongy ear.
Voice of infinity, a spiral,
life’s journey to the center,
a conch shell whisper
methodic waves, an ear
with strength and fortitude.
Wing-like mystery, a breath
in the wind, tympanic labyrinth.
Not a mallet to drive a point across,
or baby artichoke with Orecchiette
to soak up saucy meat like gossip.
An ear auspicious in intentions,
your ear compliments my tongue.
A lobe pierced, diamond stud
I clink my teeth on.
Tree trunk, conchoidal bole
with rings, your ear our growing love.
The ear that doesn’t want to hear
those three words. I say them anyway,
but you chop them up like Van Gogh.
*First published as Ear in PoetsArtists Summer, 2013
//
What I’m Not
I am not your pet; get your paw off of me
I am not a kite stuck with string in a tree
Nor am I a taste of a honey lemon drop
In the shape of a sucker who knows-not-when-to-stop
A whisper in the dark when you’re in the mood?
No, I’m not your little trick to be eaten like soul food
I am not something you smell like homemade pie
I’d rather point my middle finger in your lying eye
I wish you’d just go away, pack your bags and leave
Shine your pseudo-light on another up your sleeve
//
After his business trip prompted her to get a passport
She said, “I predict my 40’s full of travel.”
He said, “What makes you think that’s possible?”
She said, “20’s, my single life wild and carefree.”
He said, “Yes, and that was before me.”
She said, “And in my 30’s I birthed our babies.”
He said, “Hmm… such mingled memories.”
She said, “Now it’s time to quell my wanderlust.”
He said, “Well, you might as well readjust.”
She said, “How can you say such a thing?”
He said, “I traveled as a Marine.”
She said, “Then I’ll cross the seas alone.”
He said, “Wait. In your 50’s, the kids all grown.”
She said, “You want me to fester until then?”
He said, “College paid, I may want to travel again.”
She said, “Are you worried about our pocketbook?”
He said, “Yes, that’s it dear. Am I off the hook?”
She said, “What will I accomplish in my 40’s?”
He said, “Chauffer, master chef, advisee?”
She said, “By the way, we got a puppy while you streuseled Greece.”
He said, “You always have the last word.”
 Laurie Kolp, author of Upon the Blue Couch (Winter Goose Publishing, 2014) and Hello, It’s Your Mother (Finishing Line Press, upcoming) serves as president of Texas Gulf Coast Writers and belongs to the Poetry Society of Texas. Laurie’s poems have appeared in more than four dozen publications including the 2015 Poet’s Market, The Crafty Poet, Scissors & Spackle, Blue Fifth Review, Pirene’s Fountain. An avid runner and lover of nature, Laurie lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, three children and two dogs.

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