by Leonore Hildebrandt
I have always done things the hard way––
cutting through razor wire, sitting in protest
until the cops yanked us by the hair.
After turning down the millionaire,
I boiled the baby’s diapers on the wood stove––
but in summer I danced into the pale light of morning.
There were men, there were women––
mostly I lived more fiercely than that,
my head full of road-songs, the secret of seeds,
Masters of War. Once I climbed an oak tree
I had planted thirty years before. The leaves,
like orange hands, pulled me high and higher.
When I went fasting in the woods,
the hours would open their mouths wider,
the verge of the pond carried on endlessly.
I know of padded cells and stifling nightmares.
But age is ageless. So rock me––like glass,
we are sharp, molten, shattered, redone.
It’s like the death penalty––
once you have handed it down,
then do it, already. Don’t let it drag on.
* * * * *
"Rock Me" was first published in Gemini Magazine (First Prize in Open Contest) April 2013 and is part of Leonore Hildebrandt's new collection Where You Happen to Be (Deerbrook Editions, 2018)
Leonore Hildebrandt, https://leonorehildebrandt.com/, is the author of The Work at Hand,The Next Unknown, and Where You Happen to Be. Her poems and translations have appeared in The Cafe Review, Cerise Press, Cimarron Review, Denver Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, Harpur Palate, Poetry Daily, Poetry Salzburg Review, and the Sugar House Review, among other journals. Winner of the 2013 Gemini Poetry Contest, she received fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Maine Community Foundation, and the Maine Arts Commission. She was nominated several times for a Pushcart Prize. A native of Germany, Leonore lives “off the grid” in Harrington, Maine, and spends the winter near Silver City. She teaches writing at the University of Maine and serves on the editorial board of Beloit Poetry Journal.