Saturday, February 18, 2012

Our Hedges Were Hibiscus














We played out all year topless,
boys and girls in a wild swirl of yellow sun.
Escaped parakeets flickered in the trees,
trees that fluttered prayer-flag fronds
and offered fruits and nuts and bees.
We killed fire ants and ran beneath the moon,
raised the yard dust with our feet as
Blanche’s mother taught us hula,
rolling her feet and her wrists and her waist,
whispering stories gory and historic, so real
I could repeat them to you now.
If anyone found a centipede, we’d call out
until the boy with the big shoe brought his stick.
He was our killing expert. It seemed to do him good.
Red hibiscus hedges; every day I drank one perfect
drop of nectar from the stamen of a bloom and
put the bloom behind my ear. Mama said just one.
Brian Kahiki could run right up a coconut tree,
throwing brown monkey calls down at our heads, and
Toshiko’s baby’s hair stood straight up on the crown;
when she put the baby down he howled
until other mothers touched their chests,
turned toward each other with their eyebrows up.
On days they moved the Dumpsters, we jostled
down the path between the yards and squatted
on the asphalt to hear the maggots scream.

angelique

Art by Reena Walking. (See more here.)
Stop by the pub at dVersepoets.com and follow Mr.Linky to other good poems and living, breathing poets. 

12 comments:

Leslie Hanna said...

Wow, lovely!

Brian Miller said...

wow what and ending...you had me with the drinking one drop of nectar and putting the flower behind the ear...

which of reena's pics did you use?

oceangirl said...

what a lovely time.

angelique said...

Brian, I'm a poet. I got so excited about the prompt that I forgot to follow instructions.

I started with Reena's pelican and wandered on from there.

Shawna said...

"squatted
on the asphalt to hear the maggots scream" ... Oh my, this was a strong ending!

I really enjoyed your storytelling; excellent weaving of details recalled. Bravo!

Shawna said...

P.S. My poetry blog is

rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Shawna said...

I think that's the whole point of a prompt; it's a a place to start and wander out from. You did a lovely job.

Claudia said...

Red hibiscus hedges; every day I drank one perfect
drop of nectar from the stamen of a bloom and
put the bloom behind my ear...this is pure childhood magic...loved it..

hedgewitch said...

This is why we need poetry as well as photographs--you not only get the visuals of this childhood tapestry, but the interrelationship of everything and everyone, that sense of fascination with sensation and detail children bring to experience, and the deep weave of their lives from parent to maggot. Also, fine language, as always with your work.

Charles Miller said...

Love this. wonderful memories, evoking more of my own. Your words so perfectly tuned to the cadence and image, it was like watching life itself unwind from some biological memory film. Many, many lines popped out. I liked:

until the boy with the big shoe brought his stick.

Loved the "big shoe" part. Hilarious!

Now, let me tell you about the time we went rat hunting... :)

pandamoniumcat said...

Great read...

Sweet Pea said...

Yowza. Keep them coming.