Friday, July 2, 2010

Arena Township, 1998

When I was fourteen
I lived in honey, suspended
like a petrified bug.
The washed-out gold light
spilled down through the hills
by my piano teacher’s house
the sky dark and enormous
when I came outside later
stars itching like fireflies.

My fingers swarmed
over the clinking piano keys
learning to make them sing sweet
as a woman, tenderly
as a dancer pliƩs.

Nancy wore lipstick
that clung red to her teeth in places
threw her arms out wide
to measure of the feelings I struggled
to coax into awkward sound.
Her eyes pleaded, thinking
I might not get it.
We didn't talk about boys.

Sometimes, she took me up
the delicious, creaking staircase
to look from the huge windows
at the paint-spattered cows below.
Angels gilded the walls, their silent hands
cool and luminous.

A pot of soup always bubbled
seductively on the stove, a plate
of flower-shaped cookies on the table.
Nancy told me ladies never
licked their fingers or reached
for crumbs even a mouse
might miss.

But in that glowing
old barn of a house, I wanted
everything, my desire sharp as a needle
in the crazy quilt of hills
stitching my dreams
bold as silver.


  1. I didn't know you wrote poetry--I think this is wonderful, thanks for putting it out there for us!

  2. Beautiful - strong insect feeling, buzzing and weaving...