Angora, or a Female Baby Boomer Looks Back

Angora, or a Female Baby Boomer Looks Back

I do not remember this grey
ghosting our days,
gaunting the grass below
childhood windows,

though the air was thick
as boughs then too,
air that could be cut into blocks, stacked
like igloos, only warm.

Still, we slipped
through its chinks, able, so young, to think
a back slide sideways,
to glide from the yawn of bed
(barefoot, or flexing Keds)
to the blood red wood of

next door’s back yard table
where we sparred the way girls do–
in slouching talk and prancing walk–
thighs planking the picnicked planks,
too big, we assumed,
to slip through those cracks–

not understanding that it was not the dark
beneath the wood we should
have feared, but something much more fuzzy

that seems to me after years
like the shawl of this fall morning,
whose sharpness pricks
as sure but fine as that rabbit fur sometimes woven
into wool,
or the itch of the sheep itself–

Why could we not
stand up for ourselves?
(Or, maybe, I only write
of me.)



My rather convoluted attempt at my own prompt on With Real Toads to make a poem from a writing exercise.  Please visit and try for yourself. 

I’m not sure the pic goes with the poem–but I like it–it is my photo taken of leaves falling from the sky.

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15 Comments on “Angora, or a Female Baby Boomer Looks Back”

  1. One thought this made me think is how much harder it has become to survive the winter… It must have been as grey when I was young, but I do not recall the weight of air back then.. now it’s lead… excellent way to look back..

  2. Mama Zen Says:

    I feel every word of this, and wonder if I’m much better at standing up for myself now.

  3. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    This is as introspective as it is retrospective. I love the way you have brought girlhood to life before the reader’s eye and given her something to think about in the final query. Such a useful exercise, karin. Thank you for sharing.

  4. hedgewitch Says:

    Our vision of the past is often so selective–I know mine tends to jump from a few childhood incidents to full adulthood and really ignore that very painful ’emerging from the chrysalis’ that is adolescence, when I honestly, looking back, doubt whether I was really sane by legal definition. This brings it back, and wraps it like the prickly thing it is around the current self–not to be ignored, but also surprisingly warm even as it itches. The fifth short stanza really stands out for me, and brings home the fuzz, which seems to be creeping back as we age. With a vengeance.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. It is a super odd poem! (And an odd time!) I would likely have been better sticking with one time frame as the shift back and forth a bit confusing in a poem, even if it’s okay in prose– but I enjoyed remembering the angora at the end–maybe a better starting place than ending. These exercises can be like that–you don’t get where you want to start till you get to the end! Anyway, thanks. k.

      On Sun, Nov 15, 2015 at 7:57 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  5. othermary Says:

    Well that was seven minutes well spent! I love the way you talk of time, as blocks to be cut and stacked, and then the “yawn of bed” is so good. Your comments about teen girls feels spot on to me, and the fuzzy something of S5, yes.

  6. Rommy Says:

    That feeling of needing to stand up for yourself, but never quite doing so is very much like the itch in a finely made sweater. I really like the imagery of it – beautiful to look at but slightly uncomfortable to wear.

  7. Sherry Marr Says:

    “in sloughing talk and prancing walk”….I can SEE those girls! I love this, and the photo, as well.

  8. ellaedge Says:

    Yes, I love the way you spent your seven minutes going back through the beginnings of writing words and bringing us with you~
    It is late and I hope to do your challenge, soon~ What is your poodle’s name..I adore the photos you shared~

  9. Youth, we dream, we think we know the world. It is so harsh when reality penetrates naive. If I don’t stand up for myself, are my legs strong enough to carry another’s burden? Recently my past has collided with the present. A childhood friend lost to alcoholism, and the ghosts of mistakes calls me two or three times a week. All I can do is encourage her. Great write!

  10. What an incredible write. The intimate ending–you nailed it. Felt my breath intake

  11. Jim Says:

    You did great with your own prompt. (Did you practice up before you published the prompt?)
    My favorite line, and train of purpose here of slipping through, is “too big, we assumed, to slip through those cracks–…” It reminded me big time of when, last fall, my war baby bride thought she could slip through a crack in the fence. She caught her hip on the lower board, tripped and fell, breaking her hip. Surgeon fixed it with a hip transplant.

  12. M Says:

    it’s that last verse that stands out, to me: the honest self-appraisal of the paths not taken, the words unsaid, that in retrospect… might have been a wiser choice. ~

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