Jennifer K. Sweeney

(1973 / Tolland / United States)

Adolescence


In the scoliosis clinic, I waited in a room of skeletons
while men reshaped the architecture of my sister,
spongy discs stacked in S-curves
like haunted seahorses, undulant when I shifted
a protuberance side to side in my thumb
and forefinger and the reticulated whip
rippled to the tailbone.
From the cold gleam of chrome rooms,
girls who were apprenticing to be women
emerged with fallen eyes, torsos fitted
in white plastic bodices like armor.
Cage around cage around echo chamber of heart,
tapered fingers at the hips,
sharp rise of iliac points
directing their sway toward revolving doors.
I stared at the skeletons, at the girls,
at the scooped moon of the pelvis into which
the thighbones fasten like sanded doorknobs.

2
At 22, I accepted a job teaching junior high.
Not far enough away from the hollow years
of my own shifting body, the seventh and eighth-grade girls,
slight and doe-sprung, drifted down wide industrial
hallways, bones jutting sideways from their skin.
One girl chose my second-story classroom
from where we'd see her fall past the window,
gathered below for the after-school meeting.
She pulled back my chair, tucked her backpack
neatly under my metal desk,
opened the window and let go.
Below, a flash of brown hair, slim form like a sail,
then an anchor, heavy in the grass.
Her silhouette shuddered as we ran.
Don't move! we shouted, but she was already
standing up, walking away into dusk,
not a bone out of place, walking
like a girl who's thrown her body
to the wolves and comes back whole.

Submitted: Monday, August 25, 2014

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Adolescence by Jennifer K. Sweeney )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Light Fingers, Ron Slate
  2. Vasiyet, Muzaffer Akin
  3. The Demise of Camembert, Ron Slate
  4. Belgium, Ron Slate
  5. The Great Wave, Ron Slate
  6. As you rightly say, Pradip Chattopadhyay
  7. Game of Dark and Bright, Aftab Alam
  8. Apparition of the Virgin, Ron Slate
  9. Granite City, Ron Slate
  10. General Sweeney Dies at 84, Ron Slate

Poem of the Day

poet Charles Stuart Calverley

He stood, a worn-out City clerk —
Who'd toil'd, and seen no holiday,
For forty years from dawn to dark —
Alone beside Caermarthen Bay.
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. On the Pulse of Morning, Maya Angelou
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  6. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  9. A Song of Enchantment, Walter de la Mare
  10. Some One, Walter de la Mare

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]