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Dedicated to Uncle Jack and Cousin Angel: Uncle Jack is who first told me when I was just 7 that some of the best poems never rhyme and his daughter Angel, a young mother to 3 and cancer survivor shows us daily how to fully live.

I seem to spend my whole life looking for things–
Car keys, purses, notebooks, sunflower seeds, remotes and unmatched socks
I wonder…
Could it be that I really don’t ever want to find them?
Stacks of books
Piles of clothes
Mason jars without lids
1960’s Barbie heads rolling
Searching for lost plastic bodies
My own 40’s face,
The new 30, right?
Squints, imagining a new body
Might as well be an eternity
My clock’s without hands
My day’s without a list
Does any of this matter?
What is the sense of clutter?
Maybe just a convenient excuse
The detour from more productivity?
My unfinished novel
Soggy cornbread drowning in buttermilk
Family pictures never framed
Letters never mailed
Addressed to now dead Aunt Mildred
A kick-ass collection of dust
The only laid back thing about me…
I give in to the spontaneous
Bike rides at night
By firefly light
Park play dates with my kids
Scavenger hunts
At Uncle Jack’s Circlewood Thrift
What I can find is clear
Memories I don’t want to dare misplace
A life
Fully lived


Lisa Plowman Dolensky is a first generation college graduate and University of Alabama Longleaf Writing Project fellow.  Her creative nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming this fall 2009 in Simon & Schuster’s Howard Books compilation, God Encounters and Chicken Soup for the Soul’s What I Learned From The Dog.  Her free verse prose poems debuted recently in Cabinet des F’ees and Kaleidoscope.

© 2009, Lisa Plowman Dolensky

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