Jenn Strife Gibbs earned her MFA in poetry from the University of Tennessee. She has participated in the Ashbery Home School Conference and was named a finalist in Sequestrum's New Writer Awards. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in CALYX, GFT Press, and Easy Street Magazine. She lives in East Hartford, Connecticut with her husband and two Yorkies.

Also by Jenn Strife Gibbs: Spring Cleaning Two Poems

Jenn Strife Gibbs

May I Live as the Lotus

1. born in shallow pond search for footing sink in mud sturdy stem's tether green chain link live and die here head held beneath breathe murky water 2. flex fast break surface ripples around my head I rise white petals unstained I rise spell goodbye in cursive stretch my neck 3. towards sun like the blonde beard around your mouth kiss me goodnight in bed morning share the mirror above the bathroom sink you gaze at me while straightening your tie sign refrigerator love notes with one letter

I wrote this poem shortly after moving from my hometown in Utica, NY to Knoxville, TN. I began my M.F.A. program and my (now) husband and I moved into our first apartment to start our life together. I use the growth of the lotus flower to represent different stages in my life thus far. The lotus reminds me that we are capable of growing away from our pasts and towards a brighter future. I quit a job that was making me miserable and to celebrate, I got a tattoo of a lotus flower and a line from this poem on my right arm.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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