"Private Drive, No Trespassing:" A Poem
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"Private Drive, No Trespassing:" A Poem

A poem about fragmentation.

"Private Drive, No Trespassing:" A Poem
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Here's another step in my creative writing process. It's a series of cinquains, which each consist of five lines and a syllable count pattern of two-four-six-eight-two. I thought that I would try to play around more with poetic form because all I ever do is write free verse which really isn't challenging enough. Well, it's challenging but in a different way. Writing within a poetic form can feel constraining, especially if there are really specific words or phrases that you want to use and they just don't fit. However, the form forces you to think about things from different angles. You have to learn how to use different words, different arrangements of words, and perhaps different images all together. For me, that's the greatest thing that came out of writing this poem, "Private Drive, No Trespassing," is based on my childhood experiences at our family cabin in northern Michigan. I went into the writing process with a pretty set idea of how I wanted to portray the image and feel of this place that was very sacred to me, but working within the form challenged me to find a new way in to a place I thought I knew so well. I hope you enjoy...

Private Drive, No Trespassing

Mice lie

upturned, dead on

the floor – bloated bellies

facing a portrait of Jesus,



near a hill where

hundreds of cows lived – Papa

bought me ice cream, told me that I

could fly.


payments were steep.

Papa put the sign in

the spot where I sold lemonade

to ghosts.

Five years

pass, drive there and

undress – I will float in

the river, clench the weeds between

my thighs.

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