Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 8 . . .

How to Go About Understanding
Without Stepping on It Directly

I remember developing breasts,

(it was the same year the Russians launched Sputnik)

and going with my aunt to buy my first fully-trained bra,

and learning from the lady at Tots-to-Teens

how important it would be someday

to bend over at the waist when I put it on

and the first time I bent over.

I remember learning that there were men in the world

who wanted to teach me about the men in the world,

and how the faint strong smell of bleach

tinted my sheets last week after I washed the colors

with the whites and left them on the line to dry

bleeding happily all together.

I don’t remember learning I would die,

but it must have been like stepping casually

into a freshly laundered dream,

like stepping into a white tulip skirt

trimmed round the hem

with crimson quatrefoils and tears.

I wonder if I cried,

and when the flowers will start to bleed.

by Cheryl Hicks

Cheryl Hicks's prose has been published in The First Line and Southern Hum, and one of her personal memoirs, "The Goat Story," was recently chosen to be included in The Remembrance Project at Howard University.  Her poems have been published in Urban Spaghetti, Blue Fifth Review, Heliotrope, Makar, Snakeskin, HerCircle, Creative Soup, Poems-For-All, The Orphan Leaf Review, the delinquent, and 103: The Journal of the Image Warehouse.

Cheryl has been a featured poet at C/Oasis, a recipient of the Paddock Poetry Award, and has presented poems from her series titled "Conversations with the Virgin" at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Conference in Tucson, Arizona. She currently teaches photography and creative writing at the secondary level. She is also a visual artist whose mixed media canvases have been shown across Texas and in New York, and her work is showcased at the Image Warehouse in Athens, Texas.

“How to Go About Understanding
Without Stepping on It Directly” first appeared in Urban Spaghetti.

© 2007 Cheryl Hicks