She needs clothes.Her budget is tight, my clothes are tighter.I start in the middle of the closetpull out the green sweater,slacks in blue, black and brown,two pairs of boot-cut jeans, skirts,and a black dress I wore to a Christmas party.

The pants and tops fit her (we’re both tall).She rejects my middle-aged skirtsas any fussy going-through-puberty teenwho just started hormone therapy might do.She scrutinizes my career suits, silk blouseand navy pant suit laid across the bed,finally choosing jeans and V-neck tops.

Next, our heads bend over my jewelry box,fingering pierced earrings and beaded necklaces.She picks up my grandmother’s cameo,the one I wore to prom decades ago.She holds the ivory silhouette to her throat,and with a soft brush of her handpushes her long curls out of the way.

Annette Langlois Grunseth has a BA in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a lifetime member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Her poems have appeared in Wisconsin Academy Review, Midwest Prairie Review, SOUNDINGS: Door County in Poetry, The Poetry Box’s, Poeming Pigeons, The Ariel Anthology and other publications. Several of her nature poems were set to original music and performed at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. She is retired from a career in Marketing and Public Relations and lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband, John, where they both advocate for equal rights.

BMP Celebrates National Poetry Month

The theme of teaching and learning poetry, and our emphasis on student poets, speaks directly to the action of poetry in our country and global community. Never has the education of our students been so threatened, and never has truth been more challenged than in the current political climate. The truth emerges through education and the resistance and questions of our youngest generation, and it is their lead we absolutely must follow if they are to live in a society that fosters their achievements, liberation, and justice. Truth emerges through poetry as well — poetry bears witness to what truths seem impossible to speak any other way. Its constraints limit the temptation to misconstrue, obscure, and bury.