At The Playground, by Laurel S. Peterson

At The Playground
by Laurel S. Peterson

It takes me all summer
to remember,
dig through the granite walls
around me—
shoulds that enclose,
windowless, doorless.
I had forgotten joy,
weighted by the male American vision
of the world running on the grease
of what’s next?

This summer,
words waterfalled across a journal
from a gutter overstuffed
with forgotten debris.
Sun glittered through raindrops
coddled by maple leaves
and daylily petals.
The playground door unlocked

and behind it lay
a double-flowered narcissus,
a fuzzy cat named for a mountain,
an old lover I have conjured
from old pillow scraps, bits of glass
and the wild, wild waves.

Laurel S. Peterson is a Professor of English at Norwalk Community College. Her poetry has been published in many small literary journals. She has two poetry chapbooks: That’s the Way the Music Sounds, from Finishing Line Press (2009) and Talking to the Mirror from The Last Automat Press (2010). She also co-edited a collection of essays on women’s justice titled (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women’s Experience (2009). Her mystery novel, Shadow Notes, was released by Barking Rain Press in May 2016, and the second in the series will be out sometime this year. A full length collection of poetry, Do You Expect Your Art to Answer You? was released by Futurecycle Press in 2017. She is the current poet laureate of Norwalk, CT.

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