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Sherry Chappelle
Poems

About the Poet

Sherry Gage Chappelle poems have appeared in the Delmarva Review, The Broadkill Review and the anthology, If You Lived Here.

In 2010, her poem “While Riding the Gloucester Hammock I Think About Mortality,” appeared in the anthology Child of My Child and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Her chapbook, Salmagundi, won the 2011 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize.

After retiring from a long teaching career, she began writing poetry and reading her work in local venues.

She has been chosen for two Delaware Division of the Arts Poet Laureate retreats and has been a recipient of two grants by the Delaware Division of the Arts.

 


Spring 2014 »
Not Simple at All: A Pantoum

DelawarePoetryReview - Sherry Chappelle

Current Poets - Archive - Subscribe - Links - The Editors
Sherry Chappelle
Poems

About the Poet

Sherry Gage Chappelle poems have appeared in the Delmarva Review, The Broadkill Review and the anthology, If You Lived Here.

In 2010, her poem “While Riding the Gloucester Hammock I Think About Mortality,” appeared in the anthology Child of My Child and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Her chapbook, Salmagundi, won the 2011 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize.

After retiring from a long teaching career, she began writing poetry and reading her work in local venues.

She has been chosen for two Delaware Division of the Arts Poet Laureate retreats and has been a recipient of two grants by the Delaware Division of the Arts.

 


Spring 2014 »
Not Simple at All: A Pantoum

Simple is what they called my sister then
numbers never holding to slip into slots
when she scratched at learning and lost
all math. Gone - pluses, minuses and time:

numbers never holding to slide into slots.
She’d hand us money – ask us to figure
the math: the pluses, minuses, the times.
She redid first and third, then was passed on.

She’d hand us money – ask us to compute
as we’d bribe and bellow, plead and rail.
She redid first and third then, got passed on,
went from hand to hand, care to care to care.

As we’d bribe and bellow, plead and rail
she used smiles and whiles to get her way,
went from hand to hand, care to care to care.
For twenty, forty, sixty years we hoped she’d grow

but, she used smiles and whiles to get her way,
no change to who she was, or what she knew.
While for sixty years we hoped she’d grow,
she stayed our job, an eternal naughty child

We tried to change what she knew, who she was
but she scratched at learning and loss.
So, she stayed our job, an eternal naughty child.
Simple. It is what they call my sister still.

 

~

You Were My Liege
Once you whispered my name like a prayer
as if I were mead filling a crystal chalice.
In the never-ending chaos of parts and presents
  you taught me to beg for favors, plead.
     
While sly and subtle, you slipped
off to your triumvirate of hidden love
a hat trick designed by the devil. I was forced
  to cut the chains, reclaim my armor,
     
sift the shards of sanity,
  remember to plant spring.
    Flower.
     

~

poetry

tells me how to wash my hands and when
and then complains about the way I’ve done it,

sings earworm syllables for hours,
has tantrums, whines for allowances,

begs for feeding, stirs itself into the stew,
sprawls over the living room, infects the novel,

keeps me late and then taps me awake,
won’t let me go back to sleep, arranges life

in stanzas and still wants to hold my hand
while I rush into the crush of traffic

 

Sherry Chappelle ~

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