Weekly Poem: From ‘Movements Forward, Movements Away’
By Peter Conners
A boy promised a girl a fireworks display for her birthday. But he had no fireworks and no means to buy them. The boy thought of all the things his grandfather had taught him, but none would surprise the girl because the girl new all the tricks and together they lived in a world of their own imagination. But somehow fireworks must razzmatazz in the sky — kapow! The boy must make a magic the girl has never seen and could never predict. This would not be easy. The girl knew so much. But the boy had learned one more thing that he had never tried, one more ministration that might save them both. The boy came to the girl’s window on the night of her birthday and whipped it with branches until the girl emerged and made her way down to earth. Their steps were lit by the yellow balloon overhead and the bright stars they had visited and made vows upon since they were children. And somewhere the old man, somewhere the old man. The boy took the girl to the top of Windsong Hill and instructed her to lay down on her back — she giggled, nervous, but did as instructed. The boy stood over the girl — a boy-man silhouette against the enormous moon and everywhere stars. Are you ready? the boy asked. The girl nodded and closed her eyes, waiting. No, the boy said, keep them open. The Milky Way was thick and bright overhead and each and every light shining down knew their names and the promise they would bring. The boy boy raised his hands to his sides and swiftly clapped them together over his head. As he did, the entire sky — stars, moons, galaxies, solar systems — went dark. The sky was pure black. The boy pulled the only light in the universe from his pocket and placed it on the girl’s ring finger.
Peter Conners is the author of several books, including the poetry collections “The Crows Were Laughing in Their Trees” and “Of Whiskey and Winter,” the novella “Emily Ate the Wind,” the memoir “Growing Up Dead: The Hallucinated Confessions of a Teenage Deadhead” and “White Hand Society: The Psychedelic Partnership of Timothy Leary & Allen Ginsberg.” He is publisher of the not-for-profit literary press BOA Editions.