The ground is uneven beneath my back-
a land of patchy grass and buzzing insects.
A smoky smell lingers on your sweatshirt from sitting around the fire
as our eyes burned from the clouded air.
In the distance there are three ridges
visible if you only squint hard enough
you can see where the rolling hills turn into Virginia.
That foreign place where you go to school,
where you have specific obligations,
rules you must abide by.
But for now, you return to the itchy, tall grass,
the loud zipping of sleeping bags,
voices debating where to sleep.
The sun has long ago set and your shoes lay somewhere beyond you in the dark.
I settle in next to you with a small smile, turning my gaze upward.
The lull of a guitar and a soft, comforting voice sings lullabies,
I watch, content to see your eyes closed,
while mine remain fixed on the space above that makes me feel so
helpless, insignificant, minute.
I scan the horizon for any remnants of deep sunset pink,
but find only bursts of light and whizzing of fireworks,
undoubtedly set off in someone’s yard.
An occasional plane hums above,
seeming to penetrate the distant stars, luring some of your neighbors
into the clichéd notion of shooting stars to be wished upon.
But I know better.
Gooey marshmallow residue has found its way in between my fingers.
I think little of it,
I’m becoming accustomed to feeling that layer of grime on me.
My skin is rubbed raw
as well as my mind,
leaving my eyes giant, vulnerable,
like a doe in a humdrum, daily routine
stolen and altered by an instance.
So since I am totally digging the idea of “found” poetry,
(Taking existing texts and refashioning them, reordering them, and presenting them as poems. The literary equivalent of a collage)
I decided to share a found poem I wrote from fragments of Zora Neale Hurtson’s Their Eyes Were Watching God:
Waiting for the world to be made,
Too new and too heavy,
they come in with the tide,
tongueless, earless, eyeless.
Pelting her back with unasked questions.
Young darkness became a monstropolous old thing,
a great tree in leaf with things suffered,
questions and years that answer
and that was what marriage meant.
It was a lonesome place like a stump in the middle of the woods.