Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Not autobiographical

Well, maybe a little bit.

Today's poetry challenge prompt was hard: Take a title of a poem, change the title, and then write a new poem. Yikes, what title will I use? How can I take my whole library with me on the bus?

I came up with a few contenders: changing "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed" to "When Lilacs Last in the Backyard Bloomed" or changing "The Sun Rising" to "The Bread Rising." But I ended up returning to one of my more modern muses, Olena Kalytiak Davis, and changing "In Defense of Marriage" to "On the Fence of Marriage" (from And Her Soul Out of Nothing).

The little bit part? The scene is inspired by Flying Horseshoe Ranch in the Teanaway Valley, where my sister and I used to go to summer camp.

On the Fence of Marriage

The top rail feels thin, and you sit
yourself down, hope you don't teeter,
wobble so he can notice. You rest
your new boots on the lower rail, look off
into a future of timothy,
alfalfa, a bay horse grazing,
and a palomino in the corral.
Behind you, the ridge rises up
like a genealogy, history

spiked with dry pines. Closer in,
you smell the sweat and shit and leather,
feel the splinters in your butt.

1 comment:

Premium T. said...

Ah, great poem!

(I admire its spareness.)