Poems & Essays

21 Oct

Playground One

General/Column One Response

My daughter waltzes with water

            gently cups the stream

with trembling hands.

            Not missing a beat

(one two three one two three)



            in the sprinkler.

All that’s missing

            Is a silk emerald skirt

Twinkled silver shoes

            Ginger Rogers to her

liquid Fred Astaire.

            Such are the acts of astonishment

at the playground.

            A child lifts a leaf to the sky


            “I see the veins but

the blood is green.”

            A crumpled gum wrapper

Is flattened

            smoothed like dough

Then wedded across  a tiny finger

            in a sacred band.

The soap bubbles

            swirling like so many

tie-dyed colors.

            My daughter waltzes with the water,


            at a drain clogged with leaves


            runs her fingers

through the sunlight

            as if each ray was another 

strand of hair.

Penny Jackson’s stories and poems have appeared in The Pushcart Prize Anthology, StoryQuarterly, Real Fiction, The Croton Review, The Edinburgh Review, The Ontario Review and other magazines. Her stories have been published in the collection L.A. Child by Untreed Reads and her novel, BECOMING THE BUTLERS, was published by Bantam Books. She has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow in Fiction and also a Mireliies Fellow in Creative Writing at Stanford University. 

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1 Comment

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  1. Leah

    October 26, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you for all three powerful Playground Poems. Each is so evocative, so fresh, and, above all, so present.


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Playground Three October 21, 2019 Terms of Debridement:… November 15, 2019