Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Poem by Kelli Allen

Trebuchet, or The Stroke

It is easy to hide
one father inside
of another, as you have,
my father, so many of you
tucked tight, as nesting
dolls without seams.
As the painted wooden set
you brought back to me
from Holland, each miniature face
smaller than the one before.

Those dolls made sense,
in their nestling logic, though
sense is a weak gray raven
to a small girl.

Now, when you cannot speak
through any of your mouths
and I have learned to lean
against your shoulder
as you lean into mine
for the first time, the dolls
will no longer open. Whatever passes
for secret belongs to them, paint
cracked only slightly, seams tight, sticking.

I think of lambs, sometimes
covered in thick zebra’s stripes,
embossed to the touch,
and their new bodies
become one of you.

Kelli Allen is an award-winning poet, editor, and scholar. Her poetry and fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Puerto del Sol, Echo Ink Review, Poetry Quarterly, Fjords, Abridged, Other Poetry,Lyre Lyre, The Blue Sofa Review, WomenArts Quarterly, The Caper Review, It Has Come to This: Poets of the Great Mother Conference, Foliate Oak, Greatest Lakes Review, Lugh Review (where she was the featured author), Blackmail Press, The Chaffy Review, Euphonyand elsewhere. She has been the featured poet for Desperanto Press’s segment“Tea With George” for September 2011. Her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and she was a finalist for the 2011 Rebecca Lard Award. She is the author of two chapbooks (Applied Cryptography; Picturing What Breaks) and has served as the Managing Editor of Natural Bridge. She is also the founder of the Graduate Writers Reading Series for the University of Missouri St. Louis. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Missouri St. Louis. She is currently a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lindenwood University. Allen gives readings and teaches workshops throughout the US. Her full-length poetry collection, Otherwise, Soft White Ash, is forthcoming from Fjords New Book Series October of 2012.

1 comment:

  1. This is excellent. So sad and thought-provoking. The comparison to the nesting dolls is so fitting.

    I especially love these lines:

    Those dolls made sense,
    in their nestling logic, though
    sense is a weak gray raven
    to a small girl.