Jungle of Joy

Daisies at Edinburgh Castle
 Jungle of Joy
 She talks incessantly of the jungle of joy that
 awaits us, if only we’d leave this closet, this room,
 this house with its four walls, and just step 
 outside, where the wind sings and the birds 
 dance and the trees celebrate the sunshine.
 “Let’s play!” she hums. The dandelions are fading, 
 calling us to spread their spores with our breath. 
 The clover is begging us to sit in the grass, and chain
 together a crown to bless our precious heads. 
 There are daisies in the garden with our names, 
 ready to tell our fortunes of love. 
 “Let’s play!” she croons. The sidewalk has opened like 
 velvety red carpet, dreaming of our footsteps
 skipping along its surface. The basketball court
 has opened her stage for our coordinated circles, 
 our synchronous swirls as we roller skate our favorite
 dance. Even June is calling us over to jump 
 rope, hop to the top, move like a mop, don’t stop! 
 She can see herself spreading like a bird’s wings, 
 her ruffles spinning around my legs, floating up toward 
 the sky we jump and gyrate, and drifting back down 
 like a bellyflop in the pool.
 The cotton dress – the one with a parade of colors – 
 who has hung quietly on the rack all winter, dreaming
 of reclining against my body, she now invites me, filled 
 with hope, that we’ll go out 
 and play.  

I wrote this poem in response to a prompt in my workbook, How to Write Poetry: A Guided Journal with Prompts by Christopher Salerno and Kelsea Habecker, from the chapter on personification that suggested writing about an item of clothing in your closet. I really had fun with this one!

Click HERE for an audio recording of the poem.

This poem is part of an online collection I call All the Shapes of Joy.

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