TLD September Challenge

unnamedThis month Michelle H. Barnes interviewed Naomi Shihab Nye for Today’s Little Ditty. If you haven’t read the interview yet, be sure to check it out here. Michelle writes a mean interview, and time spent with Naomi Shihab Nye is always time well spent. You also get a sneak peek at some poems from her most recent book, Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners. Naomi Shihab Nye’s challenge for the month was to write letters to ourselves or some sort of introspective poem (not necessarily in letter format) in which we pose questions which we don’t necessarily answer. Here’s my effort:

Skiing—Victory or Defeat?

What was I thinking?
What erratic firing of neurons placed me here
on an icy snow-covered hill
heading in slow motion for the trees
with quivering thighs
fighting a losing battle
with “pizza”
or what was called snowplow
decades ago?
Why did I think this would be fun?
I, who hate adrenalin, speed and heights?
Was this some sort of test
I assigned myself?
Just who am I trying to impress?

Deliberately, I tip and fall
skid to a snowy inelegant stop
remove the rented skis
rise and pick up the scattered equipment
then walk down the mountain

It feels like victory to me.

©2018 M. Hogan

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Jone Rush MacCulloch at her blog. She’s featuring a poem from “Great Morning” by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong.

20 thoughts on “TLD September Challenge

  1. margaretsmn says:

    Oh, I love this. I failed at skiing years ago and have never tried it again. Of course, I never have many opportunities. I love the conclusion. Victory!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, I laughed at this tale since my husband’s story is similar. He wanted to impress my family so he said that he could ski. He left out critical parts to his story-didn’t say how long he skied or where. He was met by a small boy on the mountain who said, “Mister, what are you doing?” Richard was walking down the mountain with his skies in his hand. I was frantic trying to locate him, I will definitely read your poem to him to see if your experience jars any memories. Thanks for the laugh tonigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michelle Kogan says:

    You give us such a rich sense of being there in the voice of your poem Molly. I love how you ended the poem too, “It feels like victory to me.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha! Oh, yes. There are some challenges that are for others, not me. Skiing is one of them. I love this. I totally felt the quivering thighs and the deliberate tip and fall. Great job, great question…superb answer!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. maryleehahn says:

    Ha! This takes me back to my downhill skiing experiences in another life. MANY times I wondered, “What was i THINKING?!?!”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lindabaie says:

    Wonderful question that I’ve seen many in my past ask. Having lived in the Rockies for a long time, but only starting to ski as an adult, I sort of remember feeling embarrassed that I wasn’t zipping down like everyone else. I felt like I couldn’t stop because of my children, but I wanted to. We do need to be brave to answer “this isn’t for me” in numerous things. Love that “fighting a losing battle/with “pizza”.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A victory of following your heart! Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kay Mcgriff says:

    Oh my, that sounds a lot like my one and only experience with skiing, only I never made it off the bunny slope! I agree, you had the victory in this encounter.


  9. Ha! Your poem made me laugh… Sometimes that walk down the mountain can be a victory.


  10. I am SO glad you shared your poem on your own blog, Molly! I would have loved to share it, but it came in late and I ran out of time. I can relate to your poem so well, and judging by others’ comments, it’s nice to see that there are a few of us with similar experiences. I have a post from Jan 2017 that describes my personal, butt-sized trail of blue that followed me down the mountain: If only I had thought to take off my skis—that would have been so much less embarrassing!


  11. macrush53 says:

    The snowplow is now called the pizza? Ha! What a fun poem. I broke my leg in my early days of skiing.


  12. What a great poem! I can so relate. For my first ski expereience, my boyfriend took me to the top of Whistler, BC, Canada. An experience never forgotten. 🙂


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