E.F. Schraeder

The Word

Live with no, loll your tongue over it
like the sweet curves of a lollipop.
Hear the ways it’s not your enemy.

Place denials like fine stitches
across a tapestry. Build a treasure map
from the double x bonds of rejection.

Accept restriction as a nodding
neat brushstroke on a painting.
Let it fall.

Love no like the grooves on a favorite record,
the one you keep playing.
Don’t turn it off.

Before those me mine wanting toddler hands
grab, say, no cookie, no new toy, no prize.
Make your signature a thing of truth.

Instead of grasping for brass rings tax brackets,
gold star job titles, flashing cars and trophy wives
let your head buzz and swarm with integrity.

Learn to love no as your best friend
the one you can’t live without
because it’s reality, and you won’t.

E.F. Schraeder’s creative work has appeared recently in journals including Glitterwolf, Dark Moon Digest, Katzenhatz, Hoax, and elsewhere.  Schraeder’s work also appears in several anthologies, including Between the Cracks, Petals in the Pan, and others. Author of the poetry chapbook, The Hunger Tree, Schraeder is currently working on a new manuscript of poems and a novella. Schraeder has an interdisciplinary doctorate in social philosophy, teaches as an adjunct at a public college, contributes to an animal advocacy blog, and also enjoys helping grassroots nonprofits raise funds to do cool things.