I had a feeling Poetry.com was a ruse, yet still used it as a platform to publish vaguely religious poems to an audience wider than my 4th grade class. Material was gathered by solo nature excursions to the creek behind my subdivision, dodging Texas rattlesnakes and plastic bags in thigh high rubbers. Stretched out on thick slabs of stone, I was temporarily alone. Dunkaroos accompanied strategic analyzations of why my crush and I were meant to be, my brain citing twin moles beside our ears and our obnoxiously European names (his west, mine east).
I was young enough to still need constant connection to my parents via walkie talkie, yet old enough to understand my submitted poems probably weren’t actually semi-finalists. My obvious rhymes were not developed enough to receive the continuous promise of publication by the site, even for a fee of $59.95. Nevertheless congratulatory letters sent to my Flower Mound, TX address were ecstatic about the poems’ content, 1998’s “The Creek” praised in uniform corporate type.
Poetry.com’s logo switched from understated text beneath a feathered pen to bright blue bubble letters after its buyout in 2009, or 2011 when it was bought again. Despite rebranding and buying my early poems live on in archive, cozy next to 14 million other national poet semi-finalists.