August 5, 2008
By Elyse Bassman, River Vale, NJ

I don't often hear others like mine,
shedding an "i" for a "y",
the "i" with thin blonde hair
and no front teeth
whose consonants fell
like broken bridges
to the trembling water.

Mine were playful
as I wish hers were,
bindings snapping
in a preschool room,
the ones her fingers smoothed
but never harmed.

She never even cried,
a smile stuck like jelly
to her lips
as if it alone
could save her,
arms reaching
to embrace her,
pull her from the water
with ruffled hair
and bedtime stories.

It's tossed up messily now,
pieces falling across
her apple juice face
into her eyes
"Sit down"
I say gently
lending my "y" to her
as I begin brushing.

The author's comments:
I wrote this at the Kenyon Review Young Writer's Workshop this past summer, and would like to thank everyone I met there for their vast support and friendship.

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This article has 1 comment.

Marenka said...
on Aug. 19 2008 at 12:22 am
Clever little memory poem from this poet's childhood; I loved it.


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