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A new “School Me” poem

March 18, 2011

Circumstantial

A boy leaps apoplectic
from swing to slide to seesaw,
unbound by the laws of gravity.
All footsteps are friendly;
all bad guys are on television
where they always lose.

His mother follows, stiff-limbed
and vise-gripped with panic.
She clutches her hand
sanitizer, her purse stuffed full
of remedies and mace.

One must be taught to fear,
one must learn to throw the bolts,
to see the monsters in the eyes of mailmen,
demons in the creases of a dirty hand.

It does not have to be so.

In Monaco,
the orchestra outnumbers the army;
even the most insistent
drumstick tick of a flickering heart
can be tamed, remade, cradled
in the rhythm of living unafraid.

– Donna Vorreyer

Donna Vorreyer is the author of Womb/Seed/Fruit.  This poem grew out of a sojourn at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.  She is most inspired by Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2011 2:30 pm

    “Circumstantial” has an effective ratio of “showing” to “telling.” I like how the sentence syntax interacts with the line breaks. Plenty of sounds that enhance sense. A very well-made poem. As a mother, I often struggle with the fine line between teaching trust and teaching prudent wariness. Thank you for this poem.

    • March 20, 2011 4:36 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Therese. I’ll pass them along to the author. I extend gratitude for your poem, “O Perigree Moon.” The last line is hauntingly beautiful. Please consider entering our poetry contest. The sparse beauty of your work fits well with the spirit of small things that guides the contest. CK

      • March 21, 2011 3:04 am

        Thanks, Therese, for your lovely words. And thanks to Catherine for including them in this issue. Poetry is needed now more than ever to help us connect.

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