Three Poems by Luanne Pumo Jaconia

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photo by Allen Nomura

The Lights Below

From the safety of my perch
Among the trees and stars, I watch
The lights below twinkle seductively

The blinking lights
Terrify and seduce
In the same instant

They illuminate possibilities,
Coaxing long suppressed dreams
Out of the shadows

They tease with their twinkle,
You will find love. Fortune!
You will find your muse

Come here among my lights
They scream more loudly each night
With greater urgency!

I have long been a satisfied voyeur
Up here, among the trees and the moonlight,
Laughing at the lights from afar

Yet tonight I tremble; afraid of the ghost of regret…
And as my solitary perch among the stars begins to crumble
I willingly catapult myself into the fire below, before it is too late!

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photo by Al Faaet

Respite

Life, I am exhausted!
Attempting hour after hour
Day after day, to become beautiful
In your sight; to emerge a
Loving and generous soul

Even after the long and arduous task
Of emerging from the chrysalis,
The majestic grey and white moth
Pauses briefly on a red-orange petal
Before catching the next breeze

Life! As I struggle and stretch
Attempting to form myself anew,
Lovingly provide a beautiful
Red-orange blossom for me to rest upon
Before the next grueling phase of my metamorphosis!

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photo by Priscilla Hancock

Grand Jeté

Time Flies!

I jump
Spreading my arms and legwings
Wider than they can go
Then l push them further!

Time stops!

Suspended above my life
My heart leaps along with my limbs!
In this moment
I know the liberation of possibilities

Stop, Time!

You must not return me to earth, legs!
Standing up-right in the mess of my reality
Feels like dying in a dark prison
From which there is no escape

Luanne Pumo Jaconia, CSSW, began her career in child protective services, and currently facilitates parenting workshops. Luanne and her husband are parents of two; hands-on grandparents of three. Her poems often reflect the difficult and exhilarating experiences that happen within families as they grow. Luanne began submitting poetry at 70.

Three Poems by Luanne Pumo Jaconia

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Elephant Ears

At age five, I discovered that when I pulled back the skin
Near where I peed, I could make myself look like
An elephant with a short trunk, and big floppy ears!

What a laugh I expected to get when I showed my friends!
Instead, I saw multiple pairs of wide, disbelieving eyes
Staring blankly back at me, mouths wide-open

No one laughed at the dinner table either
As my brother; owner of a pair of those disbelieving eyes
Recounted in vivid detail, my first attempt at stand-up comedy!

I wish my father had listened first, and then said, “Honey,
There are many ways to be funny! This wasn’t one of them!
You must keep your clothes on while you are outside.”

Instead, he etched his big Italian-American hand-print, easily readable
In the upper left-hand quadrant of my tender, young back
Then he sent me straight to bed, sobbing

This could have been an important learning curve
He could have gently encouraged me along my life’s journey
Toward a healthy, intimate relationship with myself, and others!

Instead, he chose violence,
And inflicted a shame
Which would take a life-time to over-come

Morning

Glistening dew drips from a half-awake leaf,
Your dew drips from my half-awake mouth

The sun rises, in all her majesty, to greet the new day,
While your refreshed body, rises again, to greet me

A robin jumps on the window sill, singing her morning song
As I eagerly jump on you, to sing my own song.

Scent of My Father

In the morning
I would jump in their bed
And could smell my father in the sheets
It was a warm, musky smell
Unidentifiable as the lingering scent
Of lovemaking…

It was simply my father’s scent
Strong and comforting like him
It was cozy when they’d let me
Snuggle in between them
But even sweeter
When they both had left the bed

Then I could nestle my nose in the sheets
And smell my father unashamedly
He died suddenly when I was twenty-five
I was inconsolable
My mother let me keep his robe
His robe reminds me of his sheets

Luanne Pumo Jaconia, CSSW, began her career in child protective services, and currently facilitates parenting workshops. Luanne and her husband are parents of two; hands-on grandparents of three. Her poems often reflect the difficult and exhilarating experiences that happen within families as they grow. Luanne began submitting poetry at 70.