"Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness."
Khalil Gibran

Friday, March 17, 2017

Unknown Territory

Children Playing in a Garden
Pierre Bonnard (1899)


Some afternoons, we’d climb the fence
and scramble around the neighbour’s backyard,
pick new buds from his rosebushes,

scrounge for cherries in the fall
from an aged tree he seemed to have forgotten.
We claimed this territory

the way all colonists do, by stealth
and secrecy, taking broken tools from the shed,
digging for treasure in piles of leaves

until the day a band of yellow tape
barred our way, men in uniform converged
on our doorstep, and we, wide-eyed, saw

a pallid girl stumble out from the battered
front door, blinded by the sudden light of day,
her childhood left on the basement floor.


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For Fireblossom Friday ~ Incongruity

16 comments:

  1. Kerry, this takes my breath away - the children playing, the orchard scene, and then the shock of the pallid girl stumbling out the door and the power and tragedy of those closing lines. A fantastic write!

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  2. Kerry, this is very good! The first stanza brought back memories of playing in other neighbors yards or stealing forbidden fruit from the other side but you made it very real.

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  3. I was so drawn in - feeling like one of them. And then the ending!

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  4. This is such an intense and powerful poem, Kerry. The tragic ending left me speechless..

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  5. that yellow tape is cautionary for this tale

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  6. Wow! You really set me up. What a mood change. One world meets another.

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  7. A great shift, Kerry, from the idyllic memory of foraging in the neighbour's garden to the shock of the girl's 'childhood left on the basement floor'.

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    1. I often wonder how close we may be to atrocity without even realizing it.

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  8. All the more effective (and tragic)for what is implied and not stated.

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  9. Crikey...I wondered where this was going and then wham!!...sensational.

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  10. This reminds me of a childhood lost.. how the harsh realities interfere with the childhood... also with the hint of the colonial theft of course but more that pallid girl...

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  11. Oh, Kerry, this is terrifying. And you delivered it in a way that allows our imagination to make it even more horrible... since we have to imagine the details.

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  12. Oh, damn. You nailed this, Kerry.

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  13. Whoa. This is like the crime docs I was watching last night, called "Evil Lives Here."

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  14. While other children giggle, another suffers. It is scary what we don't know about those living around us.

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Let's talk about it.