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Stardust in Jammies

17 April, 2021: Stardust in Jammies

Read a Poem

Stardust in Jammies

By Mimi Plevin-Foust

At 13, my child-woman daughter
            in camisole and flannel jammies,
skewers a marshmallow
        to toast in our fireplace
while flinging hot barbs in my direction.
If only she could recollect
         the 42-week pregnancy,
                 5 days of labor
   and 1,001 nights I woke to nurse.
Why can’t those heroics give me credit
     in the Mommy-Piggy-Bank-of-Love?
Or, perhaps, my acts of caring
    are repaying my mother
         for carrying me, a Hershey’s Syrup-drenched
 toddler, to the tub after she dressed up
      for Date Night, or chased me
                                    through department stores
 as my sister and I ran and hid
                       in the maze of racks.
Perhaps my mother was repaying
      her mother Liz, the glamorous
           Manhattan flapper-turned-housewife,
                 who was repaying her mother Sarah,
                         the seamstress from Budapest,
                                  and back in time
                                                             until the instant
                                            when the Goddess     clapped
                                to explode her love
                       into the Universe
        with all its galaxies of maddening,
jammie-clad stars.
“Stardust in Jammies” by Mimi Plevin-Foust, from Transformation anthology, Lake Erie Ink.  2020. Used by permission of the author.
Mimi Plevin-Foust is the winner of the Gordon Square Review Inaugural Poetry Contest.
Her poems and articles can be found in Carve Magazine, LearnVest/, Forge Journal, POZ Magazine, Two Cities Review and others. To deliver fresh encounters with poetry, Mimi created Poetry Rx which offers poems in prescription vials as medicine for the soul [WARNING: MAY CAUSE FEELINGS OF JOY]. Over her career, she has been a poet, glass artist, screenwriter and filmmaker with an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University. Plevin-Foust shares her 107-year-old home with assorted Airbnb guests as well as her husband, daughter, and cats. Her website is and her Instagram account is @mimiplevinfoust    

Write a Poem    

Write a poem personifying 2020. Do not state what the personification is about.
Bill Ritz
.2020 Personified

You named me as a mark of time,
But I am everywhere and I hold everything.
I continue to exist although my period expired.
For what I held continues
And continues to give purpose.
I am 2020.

Those before me and those who follow
all mark notable,
But I mark life-changing notable.
I shall loom significant.
I am 2020.

Sharing the name of perfect vision
I brought forth that which was unseen.
And while I bore many sweet fruits,
My debilitating produce was notable.
I am 2020.

My page shall be remembered -
Even loathed by many.
And I shall not fade away so fast:
Like a prickly burr I shall stick, and sting
To remind you...I am 2020.
4/17/2021 5:49:47 PM

Gina T

was not a dancing year.
She was a banshee
full of grief and wailing,
a broken alarm clock
that let us all sleep
until our heads hurt,
our hearts were hungry,
and our stomachs sick
of home-cooked meals
dirtying and crowding
our kitchens then dropped
off in plastic containers
that were or were not
returned, sometimes not
washed well, leftovers
thrown out, disposed of
like the uterus after
a hysterectomy.

And the only friends who
gathered round for company
were our books -- some
on meditation, on how
to love better, fantasy
and magic, poems that
no longer rhyme, and
cookbooks full of more
recipes than we will ever
make or eat in this lifetime.
We bought more than we
could read and piled them
on the stairs to the bedroom,
next to the bed. They could
be burned to keep us warm,
torn into a blanket or shield,
eaten in despair, paper-planed
through the air, turned into
something else like art
or glue or a stew of pulp.

No one seemed satisfied by
what was given or taken
from the space around them
that filled or emptied based
on her generosity or contempt.
We climbed ladders in a library
hoping to escape, found
spiderwebs in corners to staunch
wounds, cobwebs to turn into
bridal veils for dream weddings
put on hold, mourning veils
for empty funeral homes.
Our shadows became shrouds,
and she was mistress of them all.
4/17/2021 5:05:13 PM

Michelle A Sylvester
April is slipping away far to fast as I know this month month of poetry won't last. Could we? Maybe do this again? And by that I mean quite soon? So much to say, feelings spilling over onto pages. Better here than trapped inside. Poetry a public service of mental health?
4/17/2021 3:06:01 PM

posted for Tovli
Poem Day 17: Write a poem personifying 2020.

2020: A Sci-Fi Year; A Sci-Fi Poem

A counterfeit perfection: it’s still there, but not really—
Is that what you were? Your visit never ended:
a spine, built the way colorful Legos snap together,
adjustable pieces of plastic, unable to execute the proper curve,
hawk-eyes dotted with infinite zeros instead of pupils.
Night-skies cry for their moon.

We’re told, “it never happened”.
Instead, whatever you swallowed became our skin,
like growing old: what no longer had value became sustainable.

We lived inside imagination, but were counseled:
“walk it off, cry-babies; leave the bully to his side of town”.
We’ve unloaded our weapons, forgotten boundaries;
ignored bruises so deep the color of our uniforms changed.
Now, everyone’s a stranger looking for a restaurant.

Exactly who signed your birth-certificate and why won’t you produce it?
We’ve asked to see your passport enough times. Has it expired?
Not having a country of your own was so embarrassing,
you turned our delicate banquet into a trough for worms.
That little bit of jealousy went on forever.

Even if we’re hidden in molecules, we’re still invisible, covert.
You must have known that before we did.
That’s the teaching we remembered as you passed-away,
a mutant-star dissolving in mid- air,
breath taken for granted, originality unsolved.

There’s now a never ending presence passed on like misbehaving DNA.
It has your number tattooed into our flesh. One good thing,
we no longer hide from clouds patrolling the universe.
The breath coughed into our lungs is the atmosphere.
You’re the one breathing, not us. What a cute legacy.

Because of you every politician has access to the deepest secret;
bones preserving movement, muscles offering shape;
complex organs persistent in fragile caverns,
their god-inspired music is merely annoyance,
the concert ends because you make it happen.

Our mouths are covered; there are no faces,
language has softened until no ears exist,
just hyena-laughter intriguing to elders and children for no apparent reason.
Only you, your perfect vision and empty zeros for eyes matter.
Now days, a bureaucrat adds a digit,
inserts a piece of bone until it all adds up.
Yet we’re still lying in mass graves;
no one left to welcome us back.

Well, who cares? It’s only a genre, basic science-fiction.
We had such a calling, such faith promulgated with hope.
Here’s what happened: you bent over a mountain of souls,
slipping inside our eyes, our mouths with the reach of a surgeon,
precise and calculating…

what you managed to remove never was;
what we needed to replace will never be thought of again.
What made us all laugh was the way our televisions stopped working
that little white light getting smaller and smaller
until every memory absolved faded to black.

© Tovli 2021
4/17/2021 1:20:00 PM

Sierra Polsinelli
He had always been
A Rogue
He didn’t mind
He was driven by
self interest

He was
Not handsome
but different
Angry looking

Initially he was
OFF the radar
but soon he was

He was unstoppable
A Juggernaut
we reeled at his
We wept at his

He took our breath away
Day after day
after day.
4/17/2021 12:50:16 PM

I don't have a daughter, but your poem perfectly expresses what friends have told me about having daughters.
4/17/2021 10:07:35 AM

Mary M Chadbourne
Thank you for this Saturday morning smile about the perils and pure joy of mothering. I love it.
4/17/2021 9:58:33 AM

Cathy Barber
Love the stanza about repaying your mother--the Hershey's syrup and the maze of racks.
4/17/2021 9:35:52 AM

Vlad Suchan
Lightly, Lightly Does This April and Its Morning Rain Tap

A morning roll of rain furls
the April mid-course morning
in chary, random, prodding taps:
“Can you too be Spring’s early bloom?

Can you? You too? Bloom and bloom soon?”
Into rainy tapping it is the soul herself
that is being hurled and wrapped
only to be unfurled later even more—

Can I too be coloring this early Spring
with a friable flame, drawing light
like sap from the welling-up mountain
of this self, piecing back its own tailing past?

In the glow of this one precious moment
an Om meeting now from both without and within
syncs the raining rap and the relaxed tap of heart,
opening the mouth (what can that stream’s name be?)

and the hila of the eyes to the sunrise splendor spell.
What else—what other wicket may I open still
so that I too can appear and be up to par,
floating furled and loomed and coated in rain’s tap?

In the soothing crack … rain is now laying down
in the strings, in its loosened rays—is here then
some new star near—wrapping us all around up,
while burning to a crisp in her gentle grasp

the soot and smut of scabs, grime, old crust?
Why do I feel that in each and every raindrop
and in each and every of its soothing sound
that’s tapping there is a seed or amber Tathāgata?

Aren’t gods coming through just like this vey rain
ever and always down to this earth—down to each
and every ear once cleared, healed, attuned, attained?
Isn’t this very sooth the very truth poured out to

each and every cup that is being held up—offered?
As the truth is coming through just as now as always?
Śuddha-ātman to wherever śuddha-ātman awaits
and welcomes it—and thus welcomes its own tap,

the get-up-and-go which the Greeks called a woman
and called her a Muse, giving the soul in turn
her bars and keys and voice and memory returned?
Lightly, lightly taps this April and its morning rain.

Soon we will sit down again by a stream with the irises
dipped in sunshine glows and with the forget-me-nots.
So much of the Heavens someone has sown down here
for thoughts to transcend or send one on the way forth.

So that when love would approach once more, again
with that smile, asking to borrow few more bars
from your little cell to add them to her keys,
would you let her make even of this April day

arrayed in the gray of rustling radiance
a proper musical suite? One that sings
and that moves and lets the soul unfurl
and bloom—and neither too late nor too soon?
4/17/2021 9:35:03 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.