Small stiches of silver rain
across the pavement. New leaves
on the trees, pink blossoms
already on the ground. Beside
Boys & Girls Club architecture,
eight pre-teens play pick-up
basketball in a soup of sweat
and swears. They will fly,
but for now they crawl out of
the swamp of tender years that
couldn’t show that they were
tender. In the air, their dreams
hover like departing angels.
Tags of previous superheroes
graffiti the equipment shed.
Around the corner comes a cloud
of queen bees. The strongest
stings the others with bravado.
She wears a dress that is hard
to ignore. She’s the princess
of the parade, floating like a
figurehead on a ship, there to be
admired, there to cut through
storms. Sticking her gum on some
handlebars for safekeeping,
she grasps one boy’s fingers
through the chain-link fence.
It’s like the fairy tale though,
and she breaks him by trying him
out. Too cold, she says. Too soft.
Rebecca Hart Olander’s poetry has appeared recently in Crab Creek Review, Ilanot Review, Mom Egg Review, Radar Poetry, Solstice, SWWIM Every Day, and Yemassee Journal, among others. Collaborative work made with Elizabeth Paul is in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing (BLP), Duende, The Indianapolis Review, Les Femmes Folles, and petrichor. Rebecca is a Women’s National Book Association poetry contest winner, and her first chapbook is forthcoming from dancing girl press in 2019. She lives in Massachusetts where she teaches writing at Westfield State University and is editor/director of Perugia Press. Find her at rebeccahartolander.com and @rholanderpoet.