MY FIRST MARBLES

[11 minute prompt response from the first line of Juliane Okot Bitek (2016) poem “Day 62” from Matthew Ogle’s Pome: poetry delivered daily via email]

 

MY FIRST MARBLES

Unless you believe in the eye of the needle

you wonʻt fit through the door to the next

thought whoever told you the mind is the sky

lied it’s not restricted to atmosphere or outer

layers first we learn to walk then we break

open the nest and later discover the night

learning it’s always there waiting outside

today’s weather patterns rain or shine wind

or the stillness that shrinks everything you’re

too small in the hour of rainfall one breath

you’re over the rooftop I’m talking to you

AKA myself who else? only this morning

remembering the perfect spheres of steel my father

brought home from Portishead the phosphate factory

the train to Bristol the teeth numbing vibrations

of ball bearings in his pocket my first marbles

rising above the dull horizon of linoleum

perfect orbs in his great hands set free

our reflections tumbling and rolling across

a floor busy with 50s faux and matchbox toys

detritus of childhood after the war when everyone

walked through everything that needed building

up again the sky hadn’t drawn open its curtain yet

I had to learn to walk before I saw constellations

 

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