Ed’s Top Ten Favorite March Madness Poetry 2012 Poems: #7

We’re now just seven days away from the start of March Madness Poetry 2013!

Continuing my one-a-day posting of my Top Ten favorite poems from #MMPoetry 2012 … today we’ll tiptoe through Susan Taylor Brown’s poem prompted by her 16-seed word “nonconfrontational” in the first round:

16-nonconfrontationial
At 13, I Walk on Eggshells
by Susan Taylor Brown

More than the way your hands paint bruises the world can’t see
I fear your words, and the way they tattoo themselves in my brain
creating a chorus of put-downs that play in an endless loop,
reminding me of all I am not, in your eyes.

Your words are my only gift from you and I carry them close,
like the most precious of jewels. I can’t help myself.

In this house, nonconfrontational
is just another word for survival.


This poem captured 64% of the vote in its matchup and helped Susan reach the second round. Click here to see this poem as it originally appeared in #MMPoetry 2012.

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  • http://www.quinettecook.com Quinette Cook

    I remember how moved I was (and still am) by this poem. So different from the more light-hearted poems, but just as important and wonderful.

  • http://www.stephenwcahill.com Stephen W Cahill

    Great writing lays the writer’s heart on the page. And this is definitely great writing. Just beautiful.

  • http://annajboll.wordpress.com Anna J. Boll

    Beautiful and emotional, this poem connects with its reader deeply.

  • Marileta Robinson

    Beautiful poem, Susan!

  • http://www.NoWaterRiver.com Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    I remember being struck by this wonderful poem — and at the same time realizing that children’s poetry doesn’t and shouldn’t always mean light verse. Tweens and teens have such a rich and private universe for writers to explore. Thank you, Susan!

  • http://deborahholtwilliams.blogspot.com Deborah Holt Williams

    I gasped when I read this poem–wow. So powerful.

  • http://www.lindaboyden.com Linda Boyden

    very moving, Susan. Just stunning.

  • http://www.poetrytalents.com Gloson

    Even though, I normally don’t like free verse (because most of the time, I can’t seem to find good ones :P), I love this one. This one has a very nice selection of words and ends with a thought-provoking line. One of the best free verses.

  • Janet F.

    I was moved last year and now again. Our words matter and you said it so clearly, Susan. The scars are just as alive as those that heal. We need more empathy and your poem can bring that conversation to the table. Wonderful. I hope it is published.

  • http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com Catherine Johnson

    Very moving. Beautiful!

  • http://readingyear.blogspot.com Mary Lee

    I loved all of Susan’s poems, but I loved her pantoum (a commentary on our destruction of the environment) the most. I’m just now realizing that her pantoum would be a great poem to pair with Barbara Kingsolver’s new book, FLIGHT BEHAVIOR.

  • http://susantaylorbrown.com Susan Taylor Brown

    Thank you all for the kind words. Mary Lee, I love that you thought to pair my pantoum with the new Kingsolver book. Wow. I love that image myself.