Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Poetry Year: Entry #58

In which Your Humble Blogger for once offers a timely poem, in light of the storms that knocked the Chicago area last night:

“Tornado Drill"

The slow, waking wail of the siren.
What did the sound wake to? I thought of
How life might be entering a storm:
The school's brick walls reduced to trembling,
Bodies flung in silhouette over
The humble earth into a sky green
With the new glow of unsettled dust.
At the moment, friends' bodies were just
Sticks and spindles collected from desks
And swept into the school's safest room,
The boys' washroom. Their, our tiny group's
Noble leader, who was my senior
By three whole months, knelt beside me and
Covered me with his arms, promising
To keep me safe if ever the storm
Was real. I wondered if I would
Lend him my arms' shelter in return
Or make such a vow. I wouldn't have
Known it then, but I was practicing
For you, for a strange time later when
Our bodies would rise in silhouette
And lift inside a storm, even though
I hardly could have imagined then
How life might be with your chest's promise
Falling onto mine, little more than
I could have understood what happens
When the wind begins to touch the fields.

* * *

More work in syllabics. Although there are some images and lines that I like (the idea of kids' bodies looking like sticks and spindles, "your chest's promise/Falling onto mine"), I don't think it's a cohesive poem; I can't say that its separate elements come together well enough to really deliver a punch at the end. But that dreamy romanticism inside of it was important because it provided the foundation for the poem I wrote the day after, and that's one that I still do like.

Till Friday.... :)

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to reading the 'day after' poem -- you're right, you've got some great images that create a gorgeous frame of a love poem... Elements of time and affection and nostalgia and growth without getting maudlin or melodramatic, which I think is really hard to do.