Mary Hampton, a colleague of mine at Bunker Hill Community College, sent me a poem recently and I decided to share it with you. Mary taught at Somerville High and other schools over the years.
Mary has been writing poetry for awhile but has rarely, until now, pursued publication.
She has studied poetry invention and revision with poets Jane Katims, Nina Nyhart and Carol Dine. For several years Mary was a member of the late poet Harold Bond’s Seminar in Poetry Writing in Belmont Massachusetts.
I am stopped at the light
at Shore Drive and Mystic Avenue.
Across the way, in the project parking lot,
two young teens shepherd two much smaller, snow-suited boys.
I peer through the dazzle glaring off the new snow and think,
“Those older boys are Marcus and Markendy.
And the little ones… their cousins?”
Marcus tosses a few loose drifts of snow
then lanks his stretching limbs around a corner and out of sight.
He bunches snow that barely holds together in his gloves
before he sends it upward,
Little bursts are lobbed back
but fall short.
Markendy feigns retreat, stops, feints right, half turns
advances, ignites his brilliant grin,
and tosses another cloud of crystal drift.
Small backpacks dance on bundled backs
and little knees and elbows pump enough
to climb the snapping air.
Diamondlight scatters from every floating whitefall
that Markendy sends into the sky,
that blues itself electric.
The light changes
and I make my turn,
leaving the boys, the snow, the sky and,
under the January sun,
a memory sparking to life.
– Mary Hampton
To have your work considered for the LYRICAL send it to:
Doug Holder 25 School St. Somerville, Mass. 02143