I smell the sweet ginger
lei hanging from my office door
another birthday gift
from my son.
It makes me proud to be his mom
proud that I went last night
to something W A Y
out of my comfort zone
a poetry slam
where the average age in the room
put me into the mold category
but mold nonetheless. I loved meeting Kealoha
waiting in the wings
having my name called out, I loved that I was spot-on
my delivery, my timing.
And guess what
they gave me a 10
and some eights
and a seven point something or other
but H E Y, I did it.
I got up in front of
total strangers; the hot, and the self-righteous
the chubby and the unprepared.
and I delivered my lines and I forgot about being nervous
because I O W N E D that stage
I owned my poem
I owned my precious three minutes and
ten seconds and no one booed or hissed
Or said get off the stage Auntie.
And there was real talent in the room
Real honest-to-Jesus talent and it lifted me up
enforcing my belief in my new religion
A warm and fuzzy peach in the eye of the storm
And I saw Liz Soto of Youth Speaks
and I thanked her for being my inspiration
Mentioned her name on stage and she thanked me for that.
And we hugged.
My husband Tommy even said
He was proud of me.
That you poets are C R A Z Y
but that I showed spunk, that in spite of everything
I did get up and perform my poem
that I had practiced for weeks, polished like a diamond.
I think it caught him off-guard.
He said, that ten o’clock was way past his bedtime
that was why we had to leave before the end.
Before the esteemed author, Karen Finneyfrock, had
completed saying what she came there to say.
I heard her first three poems though.
And I was glad I did.
Because I K N O W I heard
what I was supposed to hear.
And well the rest will come soon
because I am a champion
not a quitter.
And free styling or practiced
It is MY TIME.
So step aside slam poets
plan to perform paperless
because I am here now
and my strong words