Loss, Heartbreak, and Coming of Age Poetry Friday Reading Themes

[Poetry Friday] Frida Kahlo’s Message to Marty McConnell

poetry friday

Myra here.

I am happy to be joining Poetry Friday once again this week. I am now back in Singapore after several weeks of vacation. There is truly no place like home. However, I am traveling yet again to Manila in an hour’s time as I have been invited to be one of the keynote speakers for the International Convention on Psychological Communication this weekend. I am hoping that I would find the time to do the Poetry Friday rounds tonight after I meet up with friends.

The host this week is Margaret at Reflections on the Teche.

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Our bimonthly theme until August is all about Loss, Heartbreak, and Coming of Age. Quite similar to my Poetry Friday offering last week, this poem also speaks about unremitting pain and the courage and rebirth it can bring to the slivers of a broken heart. Truly the best time to reinvent one’s self.

Self Portrait of Frida Kahlo
Self Portrait of Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell
by Marty McConnell

leaving is not enough; you must
stay gone. train your heart
like a dog. change the locks
even on the house he’s never
visited. you lucky, lucky girl.
you have an apartment
just your size. a bathtub
full of tea. a heart the size
of Arizona, but not nearly
so arid. don’t wish away
your cracked past, your
crooked toes, your problems
are papier mache puppets
you made or bought because the vendor
at the market was so compelling you just
had to have them. you had to have him.
and you did. and now you pull down
the bridge between your houses,
you make him call before
he visits, you take a lover
for granted, you take
a lover who looks at you
like maybe you are magic. make
the first bottle you consume
in this place a relic. place it
on whatever altar you fashion
with a knife and five cranberries.
don’t lose too much weight.
stupid girls are always trying
to disappear as revenge. and you
are not stupid. you loved a man
with more hands than a parade
of beggars, and here you stand. heart
like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas.
heart leaking something so strong
they can smell it in the street.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

6 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Frida Kahlo’s Message to Marty McConnell

  1. Pingback: Poetry Threads | Reflections on the Teche

  2. Intense! I love it. The whole poem is full of lines that make me want to re-read it, but this made me come to a full-stop;
    “your problems
    are papier mache puppets
    you made or bought because the vendor
    at the market was so compelling you just
    had to have them.”

    You have such a huge amount of energy, Myra. I don’t know how you do it!

    Like

  3. Catherine Johnson

    Wow, what an intense poem! Best wishes on all your travels.

    Like

  4. I am exhausted just keeping track of your travels, Myra! Intense is just the right way to describe this poem – and those last lines swept me away:
    heart
    like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas.
    heart leaking something so strong
    they can smell it in the street.

    Like

  5. Wow, what a powerful poem…and what powerful emotions created it! I, too, love those last lines. So honest, sad, and beautiful.

    Like

  6. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Saying Goodbye to Canine Companions in Picture Books and Winner of AWB Reading Challenge for July |

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