Wednesday, November 29, 2006

call for poetry

Here's a poem, one I sent to Brian Lehrer at WNYC on May 5 when they had a spontaneous call for poetry personifying New York City, beginning with the words, "I am..." followed by a place in the Big Apple. They said they'd call some entrants to read their pieces on the air and just as I decided they'd never call me, I moped down to the basement to gather my clothes from the dryer, and whaddaya know? They called, and I missed my big chance to be on the air. Nine days after I wrote it, my daughter was born. Here it is:

I am the dark soil mound
on top of the highest hill
in Brooklyn
I am rich brown-black
the newest thing in Sunset Park
blackish brown overlooking the glitter,
the Manhattan spires
while children squeal atop me
taking handfuls of me
as their mothers
wonder whether they should yell
You'll be dirty
I just washed that shirt
Aye aye aye!
but they're weary
these mothers
and my children are high
on the hill
on the heat
of this hot spring day
in Sunset Park
soil spilling from their happy busy fingers
onto the dusty
thirst parched dirt
clouding under the heels
of their Spiderman sandals
rich dark brown
I am a pregnant mound
rich with possibility
planting myself
welcoming all the children.


hubby said...

I guess that answers the question of whether we should join costco or not...phew.

that's a good poem. i like it even more this time around.

Amelia Plum said...

love the poem elise! so sorry that you missed the chance to read it live on the radio. oh well, their loss.