Friday, November 21, 2014

A Thousand Elements Conspiring

Sharing poems from The Last Girl by Rose Solari today.

Tree House of the Dream Child
by Rose Solari

It has been here forever. Who
built it, nobody knows. Time itself

might have pressed these boards
into rows, hammered home

the nails. Nobody plays here.
Neighborhood boys once hung

their pennants from its windows,
while girls slipped hand over hand

up the rope ladder. How high
the grass grows — no one lives

around here anymore. Come
with me as I walk the perimeter

of this field, and don’t be afraid.
Though the earth is wild, nothing

can hurt us here. And if we’re lucky,
if the light is good and a thousand

other elements conspire, we might see,
moving inside the one high room

of the tree house, the dream child. Hear
the floorboards singing her step, see

her old, new face. Safe in those walls,
plying her solitary art, she is a word

for keeping and losing, a talisman
against this sky, which is red-black,

now, and terrible, and our own.


The Last Girl
by Rose Solari

In the summer dusk, we came out like fireflies,
the neighborhood children, swarming the best
backyards. At the Sedlacks’, a long grassy span
for football. At the O’Briens’, a forest of shrubs
for hide and seek. It felt like freedom, like a taste
of being adult, running those blocks in the almost
dark, at home in the space between homes.

All last spring, the next door neighbor’s yard
was loud with backhoes and workers, building
a basketball court for the youngest. Her mother says
she wants to go pro. At maybe thirteen, she has
long straight hair and serious legs, almost never
smiles. She’s out there every day, and always alone.

And I think, what if children running the streets
are like frogs or salmon? What if their disappearance
means we’ve wrecked the world past repair? What if
she — I don’t know her name — becomes the last girl
left on earth who will play outside? At night, I hear
the shake and swing of the metal basket chains.
Two points, then three. Two points, then three.


Printed with permission from Alan Squire Publishing. Copyright © 2014 Rose Solari. Available for purchase at bookstores and e-tailers everywhere.

The Poetry Friday round-up is at Tapestry of Words.


Linda B said...

I love the reflection aspect of these, Tabatha, the nearly mournful remembering. Thanks for sharing a new book of poetry. Happy Thanksgiving!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

These are wonderful- I'm especially drawn to the second one: the children running the streets like frogs or salmon, the last girl left on earth who will play outside. Sigh.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Wow. Just wow. I kept wanting to highlight every other line as stellar - too many seller lines. Love the post title you picked. And the image Michelle mentioned.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, inside AND outside! Stay warm.

Becky Shillington said...

These are amazing, and left me overflowing with emotion, Tabatha. Maybe it's because I have two 12-year-old boys who'd rather play inside on their computers these days... I strongly encourage them to go OUT all the time, and will continue as long as I can!

Bridget Magee said...

I'm not familiar with Rose Solari's poetry, Tabatha, so I am grateful you shared these two poems today. The first poem especially touched me as I always wanted a tree house and never had one. I love the lines: "Hear the floorboards singing her step, see her old, new face. Safe in those walls". Wow!

BTW, thanks for the continuation of Ty the Turkey's tale - love your happy outcome. =)

Ruth said...

Both of these are so good. Thank you.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you for introducing me to Rose Solari, Tabatha!

I was pulled into the house of the first poem...but the second poem made me forget all about the first poem.

That last stanza, thinking about disappearing children and the sound, the sound--wow.