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Christine Horner poet
I was never taught how to use a lawnmower because my parents didn’t want me to lose a foot.
By Christine Horner
If you could see how clumsy I am, you would understand.
When God churned me into this world in his heavenly cauldron, he forgot
the pinch of hand-eye coordination and he left out
the tablespoon of social grace, but he added
a few heaping pounds of childhood obesity
as well as a handful of major depressive disorder—just for good measure.
I was formed into a messy, buttery compound and thrust
into this world to be spread on burnt toast, then dropped on the floor face-down.
Leaving home is not like “flying the nest”—
it is like diving head-first into a shallow public pool,
chlorinated water flooding your sinuses
as your skull thumps the slick concrete at the bottom.
You float to the surface, blood spilling
out of your nostrils, staining the water red.
Bubbles rise from the bottom half of your bathing suit
as you struggle to reach the ladder, eyes shut tight
from your head pain and the bright sunlight
that litters your face with freckles
and dyes your skin hot pink. You had hoped
that the pool would cool your burn, but
the pool was heated, and it stung
almost as much as your crush’s laughter
at you, at your pain, at your embarrassment.
He looks like a younger Orlando Bloom,
raising his finger to point at you,
finally getting out of the pool
only to trip over a plastic chair.
Tears cloud your round, blushing face
and bloody snot oozes from your nose into your mouth
while you cry for your mother to take you home.
I Will Age like Whiskey
I have heard that I’m supposed to buy
to prevent premature wrinkles
and that I should stay out of direct sunlight
lest I look like a seventy-five-year-old woman
when I’m a seventy-five-year-old woman.
Raisined knuckles turn people off
as do the happy little lines on my forehead—
indents from delicious laughter.
“Like a fine wine,” they say.
But what if I’m not a fine wine?
What if I’m whiskey, hearty and direct
with a profound finish?
I don’t desire to age like a fine wine
left in a cold cellar to collect dust with bitter cabernets.
Barrel me in a cozy wooded cabin and
leave me to ferment there.
I’ll mature in my own time.
Christine Horner (she/her) is a poet who recently received her AFA in Creative Writing from Normandale Community College and is seeking a BFA in English from Augsburg University in Minneapolis. She is previously unpublished and enjoys knitting, cooking, and reading when she is not writing, working, or going to classes.