SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

Nowhere, Fast by Jenica Lodde

You’re forty years old

if you haven’t accomplished something by now

you probably won’t ever

if your husband dies now

you’d flounder in the water

if you died now

your mother-in-law

would do a fine job taking over

better in fact

she makes pies

you never should have had that breakdown in college

or after the babies were born

your daughter is right

all you have are Facebook friends

this house

these floors

this neighborhood

this lawn

is like some magical flower

that bloomed

in spite of your bad—everything

everything. Bad

you won’t write anything good

that’s for sure

and even if you do

it won’t sell well


your fault

too many hours in a daze

too much overthinking

not enough deep thinking

not enough education

not enough real-life experience

not enough reading

who are you kidding

when was the last time you were able to focus

through a new article

that’s your husband’s territory

the logical everything in its place

the greased cogs  the solid black lines


make your bed in the morning


the nobody will ever want to read what you write



if it was so bad why are you writing about it?


the sturdy hull


keeps me from sinking


he’s right

you shouldn’t get so offended when he

says you should start a laundry service

something that people actually need

you’re forty

if you haven’t accomplished something by now

you won’t ever

get in the boat of practicality

let the strong engine

carry you forward

Jenica Lodde is a stay-at-home mom who writes poetry and memoir in her spare time. She is currently working on a memoir in verse about her childhood as an unschooled hippy. When Jenica is not taking care of her kids, writing or spacing out at the grocery store, she enjoys making and selling jewelry. Jenica lives in Small-Town Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two guinea pigs.

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