Featured Poet: Martha Deborah Hall, Amherst
Martha Deborah Hall’s poems appear in numerous national journals. She is the winner of the State of Alabama’s 2005 John and Mirium Morris Chapbook contest for her Abandoned Gardens. Hall was a semi-finalist in the 2007 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Contest. Plain View Press published her book Two Grains in Time in 2009 and her book My Side of the Street (Plain View Press) is forthcoming. She is a past president of the Amherst Junior Women’s Club. Hall Holds degrees from Ohio Wesleyan and Columbia University and is currently a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker in Amherst, New Hampshire.
The following poem came to be written as part of Hall’s recent book “Two Grains in Time” published by Plain View Press in April of 2009. The book is dedicated to Hall’s identical twin sister, Kappy, who predeceased her back in 2002. Hall’s second book, also published by Plain View Press, will be forthcoming in the next several weeks. The following poem takes place in a small Connecticut town, Seymour, back in the early forties.
THE SWING ON PEARL STREET
Once he’s planed and varnished the swing seat, set galvanized bolts into the apple tree, strung ropes with grips that won’t burn fingers, Dad declares it ready.
I learn the art of pumping.
Learn to fly
above the roof of the barn that lodges my horse and some bantam chickens;
above my grandmother hanging pillowcases on the clothesline;
above cornstalks drying in the autumn fields;
above the robins;
even above the wind.
Inside the house, mother plays Chopin, Dad drinks black coffee and puffs on a cigar. Knots under the sides of the cherry plank seat continue to hold as I make a safe landing.
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