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Poetry Breakfast

Serving a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry book reviews to feed poets' and poetry lovers' souls.

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Sonja Johanson

Dyslateral – A Poem by Sonja Johanson

Dyslateral

Never really could tell which way people meant.
I understand the concept, I truly do, but which
foot to kick the ball with, which way to turn at
the second light, which column in the paper – I’m
not ever going to get it. Do you mean from your
side looking at me, or from my side looking at you?

I could tell you if you really meant vocation or
avocation and when to use whom instead of who;
could determine by smell if there was enough salt
in the sauce, could choose the exact shade of green
to match the wallpaper, but there was only half
a chance I would pull the lever you wanted me to.

My sister was fine with it. She would give me driving
directions saying “my way” or “your way” to guide
me. Now you’re trying to get me to a place I’ve
never been, and I’m looking at the road, but discreetly
rubbing my middle fingers, feeling for the callous I got
on my writing hand, back before we had computers.

 

 

This poem was originally published in Trees in Our Dooryards, Redbird Chapbooks. http://www.redbirdchapbooks.com/content/trees-our-dooryards

 

 

About the Poet:
Sonja Johanson has recent work appearing in the Best American Poetry blog, BOAAT,  Epiphany,  and The Writer’s Almanac.  She is a contributing editor at the Found Poetry Review, and the author of Impossible Dovetail (IDES, Silver Birch Press), all those ragged scars (Choose the Sword Press), and Trees in Our Dooryards (Redbird Chapbooks).  Sonja divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine. You can follow her work at www.sonjajohanson.net .

 

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

Fireworks, Mollyocket Day – A Poem by Sonja Johanson

Fireworks, Mollyocket Day

We can go down Hudson’s Hill
just a bit, climb the banking,
and see them above Bennett’s Auto.

Just us, an entire moon, the night
breeze blowing through July
pines, keeping off the mosquitoes.

What would the last Pequaket
think of these gunpowder flowers
blooming in her name?

The seconds tick between sight
and sound, like reading ancient Greek –
see the birds, hear the birds.

 

 

This poem was originally published in Trees in Our Dooryards, Redbird Chapbooks. http://www.redbirdchapbooks.com/content/trees-our-dooryards

 

 

About the Poet:
Sonja Johanson has recent work appearing in the Best American Poetry blog, BOAAT,  Epiphany,  and The Writer’s Almanac.  She is a contributing editor at the Found Poetry Review, and the author of Impossible Dovetail (IDES, Silver Birch Press), all those ragged scars (Choose the Sword Press), and Trees in Our Dooryards (Redbird Chapbooks).  Sonja divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine. You can follow her work at www.sonjajohanson.net .

 

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

Filching Apples from Wallingford’s – A Poem by Sonja Johanson

Filching Apples from Wallingford’s

I asked, and he pulled the truck up
beside the orchard, so I could wade
through thigh-deep grass to choose
two perfect apples.

They were McCouns, clean and sound,
a soft blush on their sloping shoulders,
resting roundly in my cupped hands
as I struggled back to the road.

I was a girl, impetuous, with little notion
of my own power. When he took the apple
I offered, neither of us realized he was saying
yes to me then, yes to me now, yes
to every forbidden thing.

 

This poem was originally published in Trees in Our Dooryards, Redbird Chapbooks. http://www.redbirdchapbooks.com/content/trees-our-dooryards

 

 

About the Poet:
Sonja Johanson has recent work appearing in the Best American Poetry blog, BOAAT,  Epiphany,  and The Writer’s Almanac.  She is a contributing editor at the Found Poetry Review, and the author of Impossible Dovetail (IDES, Silver Birch Press), all those ragged scars (Choose the Sword Press), and Trees in Our Dooryards (Redbird Chapbooks).  Sonja divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine. You can follow her work at www.sonjajohanson.net .

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

Full Shade by Sonja Johanson

Full Shade
by Sonja Johanson

Today, she aches. She wakes with the long stretch
of groaning belly and back, the howl of inner thighs
unused to slaving, fingertips ripped by thorns.
Yesterday, all day, was spent crouching, weeding
the shady soil she had ignored for so many summers.
Toad-lilies revealed themselves behind the crunch
of jewelweed stems; ramps, planted before
her third child came to take her time, shot
up minute scapes. No one knows the things
which grow in the beautiful dark, the lungwort,
wood poppies, swaths of bloodroot advancing
out of mind. She opens the garden, remembering.

Sonja Johanson serves as the training coordinator for the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association. She has recent work appearing in the Albatross Poetry Journal and Shot Glass Poetry Journal. She divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine.

Footloose by Sonja Johanson

Footloose
by Sonja Johanson

Today, I set free all the odd socks – the whole jumbled
mismatched basket of them. Perky, purple girl ones
with their tattoo patterns; black and navy dress socks
you couldn’t tell apart; an enormous herd
of white cotton ones, all sizes. So many years
spent guarding and sorting by age, colour, material,
owner, size. Patiently watching for missing mates
that the dryer long ago chewed to lint.

But I had to admit it was time to let them go.
I made sure that they were dry and clean,
stroked their fuzzy wool, then tucked them
in their basket, and drove to a nice spot
in the country. I lifted the lid and watched
them slip away. The house is so quiet now.

Sonja Johanson serves as the training coordinator for the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association. She has recent work appearing in the Albatross Poetry Journal and Shot Glass Poetry Journal. She divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine.

At Starbucks, I Cut in Front of Ming Tsai by Sonja Johanson

At Starbucks, I Cut in Front of Ming Tsai
by Sonja Johanson

Fifteen minutes until class
And a ten minute line at Starbucks.
But I am not teaching for six hours without caffeine,
So I huff, stamp, and fret, but queue up.
Check email on my iPad, drum my anxious fingers.
One mother, toddler in tow, can’t choose a pastry.
The woman before me gets cappuccinos for her whole office.
Finally, I can order my triple grande soy latte
One pump mocha, one pump mint, extra hot,
No whip, no foam (yes, I’m that complicated)
Only to find out my gold card is fifteen cents short.
So I run to the car, get some change, run back,
Rush to the counter, thrust the coins forward.
Then I look up, to apologize to the man I jumped in front of.
I recognize the even features, the camera-ready face,
And he recognizes the look of being recognized.
We stand, awkwardly, side by side,
Waiting for the barista to finish our drinks.

Sonja Johanson serves as the training coordinator for the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association. She has recent work appearing in the Albatross Poetry Journal and Shot Glass Poetry Journal. She divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine.

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