Hope

by Tamara Fricke

these are dismal times;
the rent is late,
bills go unpaid,
bleakness swaddles
apathy like a new
born and nurses
overwhelming fear.

tenderness,
so easily forgotten,
gets lost
in the empty
refrigerator or
tossed out with
the spoilt milk.

it’s easy to look
at the night wrong
and see only darkness.

this is not to say
that summer’s
honeysuckle kisses
will alleviate
hunger nor will
sultry ocean waves fill
the bank account;

instead,
let these moments
imply that there’s
more to night’s
darkness than a hole
in the world,

and that maybe,
light’s got a
shot at winning.

Previously published in Meat for Tea (volume 13, issue 1).

*Writing Prompt: Find something you look at or use every day and try to appreciate it from a new perspective. Imagine what someone who’s never seen it before may think of it, or what your pet might notice. Don’t edit, just write down first thoughts and impressions and use those to start your writing. Find the determination in your view—the unknown benefit, the unique capacity it contains.

Progression

by Marian Kent

Because the path is rocky
uphill
and complicated
Because it’s hard
to keep flowers alive
let alone children
Because I cannot
tell the difference
between well-intentioned
but bumbling
and counterfeit
Because I was taught
to care for myself
and injury
takes its natural course
downstream
unless diverted
I rest by this river
tending young shoots
making friends
with my ambivalence

Previously published in Meat for Tea (volume 13, issue 2).

*Writing Prompt: Write a chained rhyme poem that evokes a river or moving water. Play with that form as its rhymes make a poem rush, or gurgle, or slow down, or even run away. A chained rhyme poem is simple; the only rule is that the last word of each line rhyme with the first word of the following line, all the way down the page. Be loose and easy, slant rhymes and almost-rhymes are perfectly fine. Let those rhymes flow!

This issue of The Hard Work of Hope is produced in partnership with Meat for Tea.


Tamara Fricke

Tamara Fricke is a co-winner of the Gertrude Claytor Award from the Academy of American Poets in 2010 and her work can be found in journals and collections including Meat for Tea, Poeming Pigeon, and Whisper and the Roar. Her chapbook Our Requiem is available online. She studied English and economics as a Francis Perkins Scholar at Mount Holyoke College and currently works as a grant writer.


Marian Kent

Marian Kent is the author of three poetry collections, Heart Container, SUPERPOWERS or: More Poems About Flying, and Responsive Pleading. She is a member of Florence Poets Society and lives in Easthampton, MA with her family and her cat. You can follow Marian’s poetry and other missives at www.runawaysentence.com