Monday, January 9, 2012

Never Never Land

As my friend Becca can attest to, I was a day dreamer when I was young and in school. My mother received report cards with glowing reviews, but comments that said something like, "she daydreams in class" or "she talks too much." Like that's a bad thing? One of my favorite things to do was to write poetry and stories. A couple years back, I wrote this poem for a monthly challenge where we were to write a poem a day. This poem so captures my youthful imagination where I drifted in school to a completely different place, or when I spent hours stretched out in the waist-high grass of our fields before they were cut for hay quoting The Highwayman and dreaming of tennis. I re-found the poem today and smiled. It's still me.

“Never Never Land”

She swirls up high, touching her head on
clouds – not the puffy, white thunderheads
that threaten rain but the wispy, foamy
ones that lazily dance in the sky, moving
only when a child gazes from their back
to make pictures: pirates, dragons and
elephants. Imagination soaring, waiting
for the moment when her dreams become
her every day, when she’s given birth to
a whole new form of art that no one can
claim, save herself. Her toes stay grounded
by the bed, where she still hears her mother
call for dinner and her homework still
beckons, wrapping her in mathematics
until her thoughts divide themselves, reducing
down to the lowest common denominator.
But at night she stands on her tippiest toes, her
points all pink and raw, to see the place she
knows she’s from, that only she can see; with
brightest yellows covering all: yellow cats and dogs
and yellow people, with yellow shirts and yellow
pants and yellow shoes with yellow laces and yellow
socks and yellow hair with yellow ribbons. Yellow
grass that’s glorious, like butter spread on thick,
yellow flowers that smell like cake and yellow skies
that contain the slightest trace of pink. She sighs,
her breath coming out in yellow puffs, she knows
the night grows long and down from her toes
she must come, returning to the place where they
call her Amelia, instead of Cordelia, as the yellow
people named her. She’ll be back again tonight,
or maybe even today during Science class.

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