06 - Dance the Black-Eyed Girl by Sherry Chandler Jul 19, 2008 2:03:39 GMT 2
Post by shayepoet on Jul 19, 2008 2:03:39 GMT 2
Dance the Black-Eyed Girl
"The voice in these poems is unerringly authentic, as real and compact as plump, yellow-hulled walnuts in the backyard tree — gritty, meat-filled, a pleasure to taste and savor."
— Richard Taylor
Kitty Speaks on Her 83rd Birthday
My friends have all gone off and left me.
They didn't mean to. They'd have stayed if they could.
Some of them aren't even dead. The nurses turn them
every day to keep off bedsores.
I see the future in their blank stares.
Roy left me long ago. He took lead soldiers with him,
Cracker Jack prizes we played with one whole summer,
making battlefields on the yellow clay pond bank,
the wagon wheel roundabout Daddy made us in the back yard
and swinging across the creek on wild grapevines.
Betty took the playhouse we made out of limestone rock
cleared from plowed fields. We built walls with flat rocks,
used a big sandstone for a table, a rock with a hollow for a crib.
Our dolls were made of rag and yarn. I had one with a china head
and shiny ringlets, but it was not for outdoor play.
Rose took crisp fall nights cooking sorghum in a copper pot,
the sweet smell of cane mixed with hickory smoke.
While Wheatley passed around his home brew, Daddy played
jigs on his old mouth harp, and the boys jumped dying coals.
Baby Roy got blistered feet that night.
Howard was the last. He took away my dancing.
Oh we danced, we danced the Black-Eyed Girl
to squeaky fiddles on linoleum floors, the two-step
to jukebox guitars in roadhouses over on the highway.
One June night, under the headlights of our Ford Roadster and
Pim Toole’s 1937 Chevrolet, we danced
on the Gratz bridge to Guy Lombardo on the radio.
One way or another, now, they've all left me here
where grandchildren treat me like my old china doll.
I am trapped, a creature of rouge and talcum.
They kiss my leather cheeks and laugh
as though I were a wrinkled baby. I want my friends.
Praise for Dance the Black-Eyed Girl:
"Reading these poems is like visiting with a cherished family member, the one who knows, just back from the reunion and the general store with a report or two on things as they are."
— James Baker Hall
"Chandler’s sensual poems smell like Vitalis, cigarettes, and nostalgia; taste like Heaven Hill, chicken thighs, and longing. They negotiate the bittersweet journey between memor and desire with style, compassion, and a strong Southern sense of narrative."
— Elaine Fowler Palencia
"With their clear, rightly chosen image, Sherry Chandler’s poems visit many stages of human experience and explore its depths."
— Jane Gentry
"These poems, gentle yet edgy, are full of wry, sometimes ambivalent affection for the people and circumstances of her life."
— Mary E. O’Dell
About the author:
Sherry Chandler is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Dance the Black-Eyed Girl (Finishing Line) and My Will and Testament Is on the Desk (FootHills Publishing). Her work has been nominated for the Kentucky Literary Award in poetry, and she has won the Betty Gabehart Award from the Kentucky Women Writer’s Conference. Chandler took degrees in English literature at Georgetown College (BA) and the University of Kentucky (MA). Her work has appeared in many print and online magazines, including Spillway, The Louisville Review, Wind, and nth position. She is a founding member of the Mosaic poets and has served as board chair of Green River Writers, Inc. and president of the Kentucky State Poetry Society.
Blog and Webpage at www.sherrychandler.com
ISBN-13: 978-0972613675, 25 pages, $12.00
Finishing Line Press, 2003
[glow=teal,2,300]BUY HERE, BUY NOW;[/glow]