Take Heart 18 September 2013

Posted Tuesday, September 17, 2013 in Culture

Take Heart 18 September 2013

A Conversation in Poetry

Edited and Introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate


Sometimes what saves a child from life’s hardships is her imagination, as Mekeel McBride explains in today’s poem.






No Child of Earthly Kitchens

by Mekeel McBride


I owned no raincoat and in the season of storms

was sent to school under my mother’s umbrella.


It was the color of pale sherry. The ivory handle

kept about it the faint smell of perfumed wrists.


It never carried me away although I wished it

often enough that I can still see beneath me


people with their umbrellas like black morning glories

growing small on a polished street.


And I see, too, my house as tidy as the shoebox

for a hurt bird; the flat horizon


filling out as purple and plump as an eggplant.

And when the dark arc of the umbrella sets me down


and when my feet again touch stubborn ground

I am no longer a child of earthly kitchens


but find the geometry of clouds closeted in my heart

and in my hair, the strange blue perfume of storm.


Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2006 MeKeel McBride. Reprinted from Dog Star Delicatessen, Carnegie Mellon, 2006, by permission of Mekeel McBride. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.

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