Friday, April 03, 2015



Well, now. Day 3 and this is starting to be fun! Today's NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a "fourteener", which is to say a poem whose lines are all fourteen syllables long. The form "lends itself to narrative" it says. No kidding! You'll note that even my title has the requisite number of syllables. If I get hung up in Customs in a couple of days, maybe I can plead my way out with this!

After Time Away in Mexico, A List for Customs

The time has come to pack our bags; a last walk on the beach.
We’ve gone through much tequila; now AA is what we’ll preach.
We’ll watch, aghast, as, heading north, our tans begin to fade,
but first we’ll have to get in line for Customs—quel parade!

“What did you buy?” the officer will ask without a grin.
I made a list; where did it go? What pocket is it in?
Of course, because so much of what we got is not receipted
We cannot prove how much things cost; a story oft repeated.

Somewhere’s a bag of earrings that I cannot even find
(the town they’re from is famous for a nearby copper mine).
The tablecloth, the sweater, from a market in the square
were bought with a few pesos, so, no written record there.

And then there is the jewelry from the vendors on the sand
who have enough to carry without putting in their hand
a duplicate receipt book; oh, whatever shall we do
If Mr. or Ms. Customs wants to see; to know; to prove?

I know the t-shirts that we bought to donate to a cause
both came to less than thirty bucks—for two; that gives me pause.
The lovely basket woven from pine needles was a score;
two hundred-twenty pesos, but it wasn’t from a store.

The placemats and the pottery, the pretty beaded bowl,
the handmade paper in a pile, amate in a roll,
the hardwood stingray marks the time I stepped on one last year,
I have receipts for none of it; no written record here.

The booze we bought is stickered with the price in pesos paid
Don Julio, three-fifty, Centenario, the same.
The Kraken rum was ninety; I bought it ‘cause the label
shows an octopus so large it won’t fit on the table!

Two wooden tops, two bars of soap, a little painted frog;
Dear Lord, when it’s all itemized like this I feel a fraud!
Though nothing in our luggage cost us much more than a meal 
the value’s in the memories as these tchotchkes will reveal.


1 comment:

Judy said...

I recognize every souvenir, Linda. Let us know how it went in customs...Judy

Oops..that's the WordPress link, but there's a link in that post to my NaPoWriMo poem, as well...See you next year. Judy