Tuesday, October 5, 2010

late night poetry

Nancy A Henry

Art Appreciation

It was Mrs. Selly’s kindergarten
the first chilly day
Julie Wilcox, at naptime
on her mat by the radiator
intoxicated by the scent
of freshly painted iron
heating up
the magic smell of crayon
that janitorial odor of floor
was not napping. So she
reached into the box
of fat fist-sized crayons
broken and slipped from
their paper tubes
discovered how nicely
they melted on the
 hot groaning metal
 how they mashed
into vivid splotches
under her Mary Janes
on the old beige linoleum
and then
we were all off our mats
quietly doing the twist
on this spreading blob
of melted wax
making a kaleidoscope
making a new beautiful floor
for teacher and wherever
Mrs. Selly went at naptime
she came back from
and we were the worst
class of kindergarteners
she ever had and that night
our mothers had to iron crayon
off the bottoms of our new shoes
onto white rags
and my mother showed me
how that was beautiful

The daughter of an old friend of mine, I was introduced to her poetry right before I had Ella. I remember skipping back and forth in the two books of hers I'd been given, unable to tear my eyes away.

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