Rita Dove

Fifth Grade Autobiography - Poem by Rita Dove

I was four in this photograph fishing
with my grandparents at a lake in Michigan.
My brother squats in poison ivy.
His Davy Crockett cap
sits squared on his head so the raccoon tail
flounces down the back of his sailor suit.

My grandfather sits to the far right
in a folding chair,
and I know his left hand is on
the tobacco in his pants pocket
because I used to wrap it for him
every Christmas. Grandmother's hips
bulge from the brush, she's leaning
into the ice chest, sun through the trees
printing her dress with soft
luminous paws.

I am staring jealously at my brother;
the day before he rode his first horse, alone.
I was strapped in a basket
behind my grandfather.
He smelled of lemons. He's died—
but I remember his hands.

Comments about Fifth Grade Autobiography by Rita Dove

  • Susan Williams (4/24/2016 5:02:00 PM)

    Painted the moment with the truthfulness of a child but also with the power of a poet and the artistic eye of a painter.. Which makes this poem an all-around jewel of a poem (Report) Reply

    7 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (5/2/2014 12:43:00 AM)

    Such a sweet and poignant write. Beautiful. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 11, 2013

Poem Edited: Friday, October 11, 2013

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