~Selected by Clara Jane Hallar, assistant editor for poetry
Before the Storm
~This poem was previously published in After Hours (2014).
polka dot dress traced love on
saying what cards never could,
for a mother she never met,
foster parents dragged her inside
drowning in the downpour
erased in the rain
~This poem was previously published in Rhino (2011).
Anteros emptied my hand.
whirligig pen from
a freshly crippled muse, Melpomene
butterfly wings on the stairwell,
as we crossed the threshold,
cradled in my arms,
as the fates
sewed our story
off the same spindle
THE STORY BEHIND THE POEMS
“Before the Storm” and “Requited” had very different 'births.' Requited was an attempt to write a poem for a publication that provides three key words. In order to submit a poem, it had to include “threshold,” “spindle,” and “whirligig.” At the same time I had gotten into a conversation with a friend about forgotten gods and Anteros, the greek god of requited love came up. From there I fell in love with the imagery of the spindle uniting lovers. It also allowed for me to play with the imagery of Melpomene (who has long haunted my work) existing in a circumstance that was no longer tragic.
“Before the Storm” was born from a snippet in a tv show. One character was talking about being adopted and mentioned waiting outside to see their birth parent for the first time. The image became lodged in my head of a little girl heartbroken being dragged inside by parents aching in her pain.
ABOUT ESTEBAN COLON
Esteban Colon is the author of Things I Learned the Hard Way. His poetry has appeared in a variety of journals, chapbooks and anthologies. He is a founding member of the Waiting 4 the Bus Poetry Collective and would love to inform you about the act of guerrilla poetry known as The Poetry Bomb.