My Mind in a Tanning Bed

Count in the seconds, the minutes, they climb
Aimless way to pass the time

One – the number of me’s in the world
Two days in the weekend
There are three children in the Tedeschi family
And four in my own
Five trees in the yard at 103 Cross Rd.

Six days ye shall labor
Seventh Heaven always with a lesson
Now eight people around the Perales dinner table
No more empty chairs

Nine – the expiration month of my credit card
Cautiously approaching ten days ‘til we’re back at school
Eleven months until the next anniversary
Then, of course, the twelve days of Christmas
Triskaidekaphobia clings in fear of one more

Fourteen years since my first leading role
Fifteen at my first broken heart
Sixteen candle candelabra on my wedding day

At seventeen I lost the 100m dash at State Quals
By an eighteenth of a second, eighteen years of schooling in all

At nineteen existentialism crept into my soul
Twenty would be the perfect class size
They say twenty-one years makes one grown

Twenty-two lies haunt my twenty-second year
Twenty-three – the Jordan Jump Man
Twenty-four short hours in an even shorter day

Twenty-five; a quarter of a century, a third of a life
And I am twenty-six

Foomp. Lights out.

written in 2009

Photo Credit: LuckyBusiness/iStock via Getty Images

April is National Poetry Month, so I’ve been posting a poem a day to highlight the power of the genre. Just before I my wedding, I purchased a tanning package so I could bronze a little before wearing that off-the-shoulder gown. After the honeymoon, I still had one session left. It felt a bit pointless. I literally crafted this poem in my brain in eight minutes, then wrote it down as soon as I was back in my street clothes.

Fourteen years later, most of these fun facts held true. However, I’m divorced, so I’m not the eighth at that family dinner table, and my parents have since re-landscaped the yard… I haven’t a clue how many trees there are. This poem juxtaposed significant and trivial details with a satirical manner.

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