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Teaching the Girls
Janice Lynch Schuster

After dinner the girls shadow box
In the kitchen. There is small space
For their joy, their blonde energy
As they bob and weave near the counter.
I warn them about the hot
Burners, coffee pot and knives.
Metaphors fly; they are merry and warm,
I am their crazy coach, reciting
Combinations as what’s left of dinner burns.
Chin down, guard up!
Light on your feet,
Snap that punch!
I’ve been training them for years
For the punches life will land,
The world beautiful and brutal,
Everyday and extraordinary.
I want them ready to slip
Through it as we do this night,
So wired by their own lives,
Nothing crowding them in a corner
The whole arena of my love
Resounding in their laughter.
From Saturday at the Gym.
Used with the author’s permission.

Janice Lynch Schuster lives near Annapolis, Maryland, where she is Senior Writer for Altarum Institute, a nonprofit health care research and consulting organization. Author of one poetry chapbook and two non-fiction books, her poetry has appeared in various print and online publications and her articles and op-ed pieces appear frequently in the Washington Post. Janice, a mother of six, says she finds "working out, mastering the body, inspires me to create poetry--mastering the language and the mind. I haven't mastered either yet," she admits, "but I keep trying."

Post New Comment:
I have no doubt that poetry comes from the body, source of most metaphor. Excellent poem.
Posted 05/06/2012 09:25 AM
Very nice! Love the boxing metaphor and the flow of language. Very nice indeed!
Posted 05/06/2012 07:14 AM

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