Thursday, 29 September 2016

Today's colorful thread in Writing in a Woman's Voice is Cindy Stewart-Rinier's poem "Pre-K Pollock."

Pre-K Pollock

by Cindy Stewart-Rinier

To study Jackson Pollock     with four-year-olds         we say Action
Jackson        then  play  Action  Jackson        our  only    instruction:
Today      make your brush           into a bird    that cannot        land.
All over the room          tail feathers        begin     to dip         and lift
dribble and flick       paper recording       twenty paths   of exuberant
flight.       Small paint balls       and trailed lines        confetti   the air
then fall         and cross        and weave themselves       into flattened
nests.      All but two children      know when to stop.      One by one
they rise and drift  off to the sink    where they remove paint smocks
and wash     their spattered hands.       But Matthew        whose lines
are tangled            dense as bramble                   asks for more black.
All his favorite animals      have sharp teeth        and some mornings
he presses his face       into his mother’s legs           as if he might be
inching back inside her.     And Amelia      the girl who used to pool
white glue       so deep        the edges of her paper        oyster shelled
around it       as it dried          can’t get enough color             or resist
touching down.       She wheels her bristles         leaving scuff marks
of beating wings in   poppy  geranium red  lime streaked with black.
When it’s time to clean up          Matthew sulks himself into a corner
and Amelia         sucks in her bottom lip                    refusing to hear.
And I wonder    is it what we pursue   or what pursues us that resists
ending?       Or     are passion and darkness         simply twin engines
that drive                                       the restless bird?

* * * * *

"Pre-K Pollock" first appeared in Crab Creek Review, 2011 v. 2, then online in the 12/1/14 edition of Contemporary American Voices

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