I was a very strange eleven-year-old

Platonic Forms

A small room,
perfectly square
reflecting the edges
of the pink daubed
raw cinder blocks
of which it was formed.

My mother
picked the color.
She was always
trying to imagine me
into more of a girl.

A coat of paint
changed nothing,
the blocks
kept their natures,
their sharp edge.

There were
two windows
set into the walls,
the shape of four
missing cinders.
I opened them wide

so that the pine
needles and climbing,
moon-blooming cactus
could scatter their points
across my frayed carpet.

I liked to watch
the dividers blur
between the in
and outside worlds.

One day on my dog-
led wanderings,
Spot drew me
to a curb so fast
I almost could not
stop my roller blades.

I left behind a rime
of purple break-
pad like the aftermath
of road burn.

He cocked his
curved leg
on a familiar form.
A two-foot
brass eagle
with wings
widely spread.

The kind often
found mounting
garage doors
in the South.

I do not know
why it was there,
tossed like garbage
in that vacant lot.

It was mottled
with solid orange sap,
Fragrant amber already,
the shade of the urine
Spot rained on its breast.

I took it to hand,
and we went flying.
It weighed fifteen pounds,
wedged in my armpit,
but the dogs pace did not tell.

He ran home
so fast my matted
hair raised behind me
like a cape made of flannel.

The borrowed wings
became my own.
I felt them, migrating,
to take root in my spine,
their pinions
one by one,
so golden so light.

I drove a two-inch
house nail
into the crack

between two bricks,
sending paint
and mortar flying.
I hung my wings
between the windows.

My mother tiptoed in
while I was sleeping.
I stirred when my dog did,
startled from our grounded
mattress nest
by the creak of a can
and her own muffled cursing.

She could not remove
the eagle,
could not reduce or altar
it’s essential self.
She had to content herself
painting it white,
blurring its edges.


About Bethany W Pope

Bethany W Pope is an award winning author of the LBA, and a finalist for the Faulkner-Wisdom Awards. Her work was listed for the Cinnamon Press Novel Competition. She received her PhD from Aberystwyth University’s Creative Writing program. Her first poetry collection, A Radiance was published by Cultured Llama Press in June. Her second collection, Persephone in the Underworld has been accepted by Rufus Books and shall be released in 2016. Her work has appeared in: Anon, Art Times, Ampersand, Blue Tattoo, Sentinel Quarterly, The Delinquent, De/Tached (an anthology released by Parthian), The Writer’s Hub, New Welsh Review, Every Day Poems, And Other Poems, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Magma, Words & Music, The Quarterly Conversation, Tears in the Fence, Ink, Sweat and Tears and Planet. Her work is due to appear in the next issues of Poetry Review Salzburg, Acumen, Pacific Poetry , Music& Literature, Anon, and The Screech Owl.

Posted on April 10, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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