National Poetry Month April 12, 2020
Greeting Cards They Don’t Make
I tried to find a card for you.
“Get well soon” sounds fine
for the flu or the leg you broke walking the dog.
It doesn’t cut it
for fist shaped bruises.
I opened “Caring thoughts”:
“May only peaceful memories touch your heart today”
is a tall order when you’re dictating
(can’t write with that concussion)
your statement for the prosecutor.
“The goodness in you brings out the goodness
in everyone around you”
is just insulting.
It obviously didn’t in him.
And “Give all your worries and cares to God”?
Yeah, you’ve tried that one for years.
I am sick of hearts and of angels. I want
a card that shouts
“You’re a strong woman,
and we love you,
and we hope the bastard
rots in jail.”
It would be a bestseller.
Greeting Cards They Don't Make was first published in Trailer Park Quarterly, Vol. 9.
1. What inspired you to write this poem?
A coworker of mine was assaulted by a family member, and I went to all stores in our town that sell greeting cards in hopes of finding a card we all could sign in support of her. The poem is the result of that frustrating search.
2. What do you like about this poem?
I like that I was able to speak about domestic violence without appropriating another woman’s story; I could speak about my reaction and use this small example as a metaphor how inadequately society deals with the problem.
3. What would you change about this poem?
I would love for it to be unnecessary.
4. Where, when, and how often do you write?
I write mostly at home, after work. I often find inspiration while I am hiking and always carry a notebook. I try to write every day, but am falling short of that goal. Working on it.
5. What poetry books are you reading right now?
At the moment, I am reading Jeanette Powers’ fabulous new collection Dandylion Riot. And I am revisiting Mary Oliver.
My website is agnesvojta.com