SPOTLIGHT: How to Get Me Up in the Morning by Nolcha Fox


“We love your new book,
so entertaining,” they say.
I toot my horn and thank them.
I bow and tip my top hat.
My painted smile grins wider.

At home, without the face paint,
without the orange wig
without the round red nose,
bright costume hung,
what is left of me?

I stare at a blank paper,
my brain as empty
as my coffee cup.
I wonder if I’ll ever write
another poem again.

Dear Little Girl in an Alternate Reality

Dear little girl,
yes, you with the dimples,
blue eyes, and blondish hair.

Gather snap dragons,
sing to morning glories.
Dance through the sprinklers.

Let fireflies float,
blinking embers
into summer night.

Tell the world
what you think,
don’t hold it in.

Don’t be afraid
to learn how to drive.
Drive to another world.

You are precious, a jewel.
Don’t give yourself away.
You’re worth a lasting love.

Hug life until you hurt.
Don’t live life in secret.
Be the girl I was too scared to be.


We discuss directions, we argue
with our navigation system.
We call her Rhonda.

He wants to take the shorter route
which takes longer, of course,
not the course I would choose.
The roads are slick, the tires
skid from side to side.

I want to take the longer route,
which takes less time,
the roads are cleared of ice and snow.

Rhonda wants to take the interstate,
which takes us five miles
out of the way. Rhonda doesn’t care
about time or mileage,
she just likes to drive fast.

Elysian Fields

First flower, you greet the sun,
brilliant yellow daffodil.
Courting bees, you beckon,
sure sign of new life.

How odd that you are
the flower of the dead,
you carpet Elysian fields,
playground of gods, eternal bliss.

Elysian fields are out of reach
to this little mortal,
so I am happy with the splash
of yellow in my garden.

Flight School

Icarus had dreams of grandeur,
He wanted to reach the heights.
He fashioned wings
of wax and feathers.

The birds were irked.
They pecked out plumage,
Chased him off the cliff.

He hadn’t attended
their flight school,
and so
he was dropped.


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