Poet’s Corner: How it is, Red Volkswagen Beetle, To the SANDBOX!

Here is the latest installment of Poet’s Corner, presented by the Edmonds-based EPIC Poetry Group.

How It Is

I showed up for the scheduled meeting a month too early.
That’s how it is now –
Too much loss to think.
Too many tragedies to count.

I’m here at the non-meeting alone
So I sip chai tea by the faux fireplace.

The tea is fine.

I resist these quiet moments,
The cessation of tasks
Don’t know what to feel, not sure what I need, wonder what’d be good.

Search for a balm that’s as elusive as the sun in the Northwest.

Think about what I can buy, who I can call, where I can hide this numbness.
People are counting on me.
I tuck the sad away and fake my way through the heavy day.

I unfold grief in my own private sanctuary
Wrap myself in the blanket of her blurred fuzziness
And gaze at the flicker of the candle
With the star anise embedded in the wax
That the joyful girl’s hands crafted for me,
Grateful for her gift –
A glowing light in the darkness.

Ali Eden Ersfeld

~ ~ ~ ~

Red Volkswagen Beetle

Neal was not like the other New Jersey fathers
Reading newspapers, absent, angry, unfun.

He drove that car on the lawn,
(summer pregnant and ready to burst like my mom)
the red VW Beetle with the cozy-as-a-coffin way-back
and heating system that melted
the old lady’s shoes.
She was livid, he laughed about it.

We could hear the happy Beetle
chugging down Gage hill.
“Dad’s home!”

We girl-kids clung to the hood,
Pigtails whipping whimsically while we made our way over waves of green grass.
Twenty bags of sand were stuffed into that Beetle
like clowns headed to a circus.

Ali Eden Ersfeld

~ ~ ~ ~


He emptied the bags into an immaculate heap –
smooth, perfect, cool, delicious
like a mountain of sugar.
We built castles and dreamed,
the sand slipping through our little hands.

Soon came boys and blood and autumn,
and the sand became heavy and wet.
It attracted flies and an audacious Siamese cat.

Then, the lush ivy swallowed the sandbox.
The Beetle broke down somewhere in Newark and was towed to the junkyard.

But Neal…
he stayed fun and danced and laughed.
He taught us to always build castles and to dream –
to be amused even when things we love are lost or broken.

Ali Eden Ersfeld

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ali Eden Ersfeld

Ali teaches creative writing, mythology and English at Meadowdale High School where she works collaboratively with students to publish the school’s art and literary magazine. She is also a yoga instructor, sound bath performer, and facilitates yoga and writing workshops. Ali is a board member of EPIC Group Writers.

Published work: Unmasked Magazine, EPIC Group Writers 2018 Contest winner (second place-poetry); Poetry Corner – My Edmonds News

  1. Strong images…
    Heart warming
    Heart rendering
    Common to us all

    thank you for your capture of time

  2. Ali, these three poems are filled with marvelous images and of people we miss so deeply.
    Thank you

  3. Love these [poems. Such a lovely tribute to your late father. And How it is…I can relate to the mood of the images and the “search for a balm that’s as elusive as sun in the Pacific Northwest.”

    I’m looking forward to hearing you and other EPIC poets read this Saturday at the Edmonds Arts Festival.

      1. Oops. LOL. I’m still not sure what day/month/year it is anymore. I think I was hoping it was this coming weekend because it’s not supposed to rain.

  4. Alison:
    I am taken by your ability to relate memories and portrary individuals in a fashion that we can all relate to. There is joy, humor and wisdom in your words.

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