Posted in Poetry

National Poetry Writing Month #28


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On Things Forbidden

The dented bucket drew me here,
its galvanized metal long since rusted,
its edges unfurled and jagged,
a small, gray feather snagged
just where a handle once had been,
and still, by forces unknown to mere girls
just turned ten, a pool of muddy water
brimmed the pail, defying logic,
glinting the winter sun in blue
and yellow and white.

Propped next to the leaning shed,
past the blood-red signs that forbade
our entrance, the bucket belonged
to them, the couple who lived
in the big house half a mile from our
ten-acre spread, she of the long, flowing hair,
he of the peppermint sticks, cleft chin
and dimples.

Mirna, six years my senior, and her friends
would take picnics to the public lake,
in full view of the long drive that led
up to a world where parents didn’t spend nights
huddled over the Farmer’s Almanac
and bills unopened in piles,
all for the glimpse of them, smiles
on their faces, driving by in a slick coupe
with the top unfurled.

But it was January, and the crisp air
swirled around, kicking up dust,
our ever-present foe, and the lonely bucket
beckoned.

With careful steps, I skirted under barbed wire,
huddled toward the weathered wood
creaking in the wind and waited. Surely,
shiny, hidden things, the promise of all
forbidden places, would be there, just inside
the dark, broken building where even Mirna
would not go.

And then, hearing only my heartbeat
thrumming in my ears, their red tips burning
from the cold or my shame, I stepped
to the gaping hole where a door had been,
the hinges flapping, and stuck one foot
past the threshold of no.

The bucket slapped its water patiently
as I stood with one foot shadowed, the dank
smell of dirt and rodent and rotten wood
sinking through my flared nostrils,
settling into the wool fibers tucked
inside my Mary Janes.

And then, across the barren fields
that separated us in ways ten-year-olds
know but do not understand, the woman’s voice,
full of laughter and promise, floated
to my burning ears, startled
something that skittered out of the dark
and sent me flying homeward,
where tucked in my bed that night,
I dreamed how the water
in the rusty bucket gleamed.

Ramona Levacy
April 28, 2013

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Author:

I am a 40-something Texan with a feisty cat and a supportive husband of 20 years. With a Master's degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, I have taught creative writing at Texas Tech, won awards for my writing and been blessed to be mentored by Horn Professor and poet Dr. Walt McDonald. I earn a living by helping my husband's family run a health food store, but my avocation is writing. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my triumphs and tragedies as I continue to work on figuring out what life is all about and on growing my ability to share my writing. May your own journey be a blessed one.

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