Tree House of the Dream Child
by Rose Solari
It has been here forever. Who
built it, nobody knows. Time itself
might have pressed these boards
into rows, hammered home
the nails. Nobody plays here.
Neighborhood boys once hung
their pennants from its windows,
while girls slipped hand over hand
up the rope ladder. How high
the grass grows — no one lives
around here anymore. Come
with me as I walk the perimeter
of this field, and don’t be afraid.
Though the earth is wild, nothing
can hurt us here. And if we’re lucky,
if the light is good and a thousand
other elements conspire, we might see,
moving inside the one high room
of the tree house, the dream child. Hear
the floorboards singing her step, see
her old, new face. Safe in those walls,
plying her solitary art, she is a word
for keeping and losing, a talisman
against this sky, which is red-black,
now, and terrible, and our own.
You Can't Take the Sky from Me by Eric
The Last Girl
by Rose Solari
In the summer dusk, we came out like fireflies,
the neighborhood children, swarming the best
backyards. At the Sedlacks’, a long grassy span
for football. At the O’Briens’, a forest of shrubs
for hide and seek. It felt like freedom, like a taste
of being adult, running those blocks in the almost
dark, at home in the space between homes.
All last spring, the next door neighbor’s yard
was loud with backhoes and workers, building
a basketball court for the youngest. Her mother says
she wants to go pro. At maybe thirteen, she has
long straight hair and serious legs, almost never
smiles. She’s out there every day, and always alone.
And I think, what if children running the streets
are like frogs or salmon? What if their disappearance
means we’ve wrecked the world past repair? What if
she — I don’t know her name — becomes the last girl
left on earth who will play outside? At night, I hear
the shake and swing of the metal basket chains.
Two points, then three. Two points, then three.
Printed with permission from Alan Squire Publishing. Copyright © 2014 Rose Solari. Available for purchase at bookstores and e-tailers everywhere.
The Poetry Friday round-up is at Tapestry of Words.