Poetry: Aspirational Self-Portrait as Woman Gardening in a Wide-Brimmed Hat by Alexa Patrick

This poem’s vision, or aspiration, is one of abundance, basking in the speaker’s “own plenty.” Alexa Patrick’s poem sings, and in its singing creates a world so vivid we can touch it, so vivid that we, like this speaker’s hopes for the future self, are “not lonely here.”

Aspirational Self-Portrait as Woman Gardening in a Wide-Brimmed Hat

The sun lay

heavy, like a child

 too tired to walk. Fingertips

staccato soil as I lift light, like its mother,

 in my wide-brimmed hat. Every day, and at

my will, sprouts rise luminous, hum backup

to an old record embellishing the quiet air. No, I am not lonely here, alone with my chores

and my chorus of living things. If any lover passes through, I feed him apple slices, 7-Up cake, lemonade before demanding to be left with my own plenty:

the tiny moons of mud

beneath my fingernails,

my singing shoulders,

my feast blooming

from everything

I buried

Alexa Patrick

Alexa Patrick is a singer and poet from Connecticut. She holds fellowships from Cave Canem, Obsidian, The Watering Hole, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Alexa has held teaching positions through Split This Rock, The University of the District of Columbia, and the Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University. Alexa has coached the slam teams of American University and George Washington University for the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational. Alexa is currently the Programs Director for non-profit writing program and publishing house Shout Mouse Press. She is also an open mic host at Busboys and Poets, and has performed at The Schomburg Center and the Kennedy Center. You may find Alexa's work in publications including The Quarry, The Rumpus, CRWN Magazine, and The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic. Her debut collection Remedies for Disappearing will be published by Haymarket Books in 2023.

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