This week’s poem is no nostalgic tour through childhood’s scenes – it reels through images from the speaker’s early life in long, turning sentences, delivering “a whole tired universe” and the “unraveling” that accompanies aging.

Alisha Goldblatt is an English teacher who lives in Portland with her two children and husband. She published a children’s book, “Finding a Way,” about her family’s experience raising a child with a rare chromosomal abnormality. Her poems have appeared in The Georgetown Review, Midstream Magazine, Mockingheart Review and the Common Ground Review, and essays in The Stonecoast Review, MothersAlwaysWrite and The Wisconsin Review.

 

Childhood

By Alisha Goldblatt

Bicycle

seat an early warning between my legs, the street

a whole tired universe:

three shrubs leaned into one another

conspiratorially shedding into the clearing and

those old wheels

shuddered through my frame

 

beside the houses with their eyelid windows,

scrape of knuckles rubbed raw from scooping jacks,

stars splayed on the tar, and mom’s

hands (her one thumb with its plump head)

so deftly tossed the blind rubber ball.

 

Forefinger threaded through the telephone cord,

a sprig of tinny voices, tiny pulses, shoulders

crooked to cradle the handset. Girls, then, they

paired up like old shoes swung up onto the

wires –

 

the stucco walls of our house, illegible braille

that roughed up the maples and the wind,

while the pitch of crickets heralds evening.

The sky breathes and details the future

with pinpricks

 

and if scent could become song it would

waft on the prayers from the porch as the sun

drops anchor and the tulips bow:

 

aging is an abstract art, never done well,

just done, owning up to the

day after day of it, the obvious unraveling.

Yesterday is always a formidable, ghosted ride,

the chains anachronistic before they even rust.

 

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is poet who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2018 Alisha Goldblatt. It appears here by permission of the author. For an archive of all the poems that have appeared in this column, go to www.pressherald.com/tag/deep-water.


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