Monday, April 27, 2009

Long days

You see

a boy-child, thin as smoke and ash
slamming his green plastic bucket
over a red-shelled crab, arthropod
legs scrambling madly for a sandy foothold.

You hear

a girl shout, pushing the door shut,
crisp white paint peeling
with a sharp crack just as the sun-god
reached his lanky foot inside,
stretching across the dusty wood floor.
He shrieks in pain at the shock
as she laughs, piercing, fingers in mouth
suffocating hysteria.


teacher sliding the rolled blind down
over the long window, casting the room
into squinting darkness in a last-ditch attempt
to shut out the distracting peals of laughter
stealing their way in from the day outside.

I spend

every moment of spare time
searching for lost slivers of the sun.
Long days are coming, yes they are
and I would slip them all into a jam jar,
label and stow them on a high kitchen shelf
until they hatch.

Rachel Westfall
April 27, 2009


Cherie/ Butterfly Dreamer said...

Saving summer......I like it.

Woman in a Window said...

What is there to say but, I love this?
The imagery, the simplicity, the jars and latch. You've eyes familiar to me, like a distant cousin I would see every summer and love.

Kit said...

Wow, I'm SO glad I stopped in! I love this.

nollyposh said...

Oh wOW! Me tOO!
~Beautiful~ x

RachelW said...

Cherie, and if we can save summer... maybe someone can mail me some if this coming one is cool and wet up here (like it was last year)?

Erin, thank you! :) I felt the same, reading your river piece today. So familiar.

Kit, thank you for stopping in! :)

Nolly, thank you too!

Linda S. Socha said...

Love this one...a bit like stepping back into a time...before

joker the lurcher said...

perfect, timeless

Faith said...

Oh, Rachel, beautiful. (always)
We had such a wet summer last year here -- the garden rotted, the lawn always daughter and I were already talking about how fleeting the summer days can be... I love the jam jar...maybe a jam jar full of your beautiful words to hold onto :)

Julie said...

Oh, so beautiful! You instantly hooked me with the boy thin as smoke and ash. And the images of cruelty are so powerful, but they're twinged with the innocence of children.

I agree with the comments about the ending. Wow!!! Excellent words. I also love "searching for lost slivers of the sun." I love your poetry, Rachel!!

Rikkij said...

Rach- i was drawn to the "you see" & "you hear" -would like to see that jam jar! ~rick

Kyddryn said...

Mmm, yummy, luv.

Shall I ship you some from Georgia? They are fierce, heavy, thick and golden, not like the thin brew you know up there - these sunbeams are heavy, redolent with summer and ozone and warm skin, laughter, popsicles, the smell of charcoal-seared dinner and marshmallows just on the edge of immolation. They are more for drinking in, soaking in, revelling in than hatching, but perhaps you, clever sister-of-my-soul, could help them grow.

Shade and Sweetwater,

Aniket said...


You obviously come up with amazing content but what I love about your blog the most is each time you come up with a fresh style for your poetry.

This was very beautiful.

Minister of the Masochistic Truth said...

Very reflective. The second stanza about the girl with the peeling paint on the door frame is a particularly strong bit of imagery - great stuff! Overall, an appealing piece of writing that makes me think back to things from my past...

Anonymous said...

Memories rekindled reading your words.Time goes quick. Too quick and as one gets older, time seems to run faster *sigh* Lovely words, you.

RachelW said...

SarahA, hmm, I like how you put that... how you weave your words together.

MMT, thanks for the kind words!

Aniket, thank you! I'm always trying different ways of writing, and would love to learn more...

K, yes, oh yes, and you have a way with the words as well. Can you bottle me some of that Georgia sun?

Rick :)

Julie, thank you! It means a lot to me, coming from you :)

Faith, shall we do some canning?

Joker, thanks :) and Linda, thank you too!

kenflett said...

Your writing makes me feel good. :)

RachelW said...

Thanks, Ken; I am glad! :)

Poet Man said...

Lovely. Here is what I make up.

That this is a beautiful metaphor for the sun that shines in childhood and how the shadows of adulthood are slowly enforced by "Teachers." How later catching glimpse of our own internal star shine we shelter them, even if we must do so in secret.

Again Lovely and Well Done...

Poet Man