Crystal Simone Smith
From here, memory as distant as sky, you
appear miniscule, maybe seven, left
to wander the mile-long path to school.
Morning, wild and late, overslept.
The clusters of other walkers long gone.
You’re warned: Do not look up, do not misstep!
Daydreamer, teachers complain. Easily drawn
to the finch in the window, the nest it forms
flying in each twig to make its branched throne.
And it’s easy on this path of silent sun,
birds so blue they stop you cold, enticing
you to follow their swooping tree runs
until you’re on the off road, looking
each way, each distance a contemplation—
home, a locked shelter; school, a cage waiting.
(Published first in Pinesong: NC Poetry Society Anthology, 2012)
Crystal Simone Smith was raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland and educated in North Carolina at Bennett College, UNC-Greensboro, and Queens University of Charlotte. She is the author of Routes Home (Finishing Line Press). Her work has appeared in numerous journals including:Callaloo, Nimrod, Barrow Street, Obsidian II: Literature in the African Diaspora, African American Review, and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change. She is an alumna of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and the Yale Summer Writers Conference. She holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and lives in Durham, NC with her husband and two sons where she teaches English Composition II and Creative Writing. She is currently the Managing Editor of Backbone Press.
Photo ©Richard Beban