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In winter, the church on Bates Avenue
held art classes on Wednesday nights
instead of services, and dances on Fridays
for teens, we so close to the beach
our yard was a dune tangled with ivy.           

I learned that art was more than a painting.
It could be a sculpture of driftwood and glass
smoothed down until all the rough is gone
and held together by seaweed. It could be
a horseshoe crab enameled as if cloisonné.

I listened to “Leader of the Pack,” later joined
a chorus line instilled in hips when kneeler
chairs were placed against the wall, proved
my mettle by wrestling the toughest girls
in town at the bottom of parish stairs.

Fishhooks were to be avoided in the sand
and there was a certain stench where beer 
drained out of a pipe from the bar across
the street into the bay, but it was my Eden
that still held the fall.                                                 


Kyle Laws is based out of Steel City Art Works in Pueblo, CO where she directs Line/Circle: Women Poets in Performance. Her collections include Ride the Pink Horse (Stubborn Mule Press, 2019), Faces of Fishing Creek (Middle Creek Publishing, 2018), This Town: Poems of Correspondence coauthored with Jared Smith (Liquid Light Press, 2017), So Bright to Blind (Five Oaks Press, 2015), and Wildwood (Lummox Press, 2014). With eight nominations for a Pushcart Prize and one for Best of the Net, her poems and essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Germany. She is editor and publisher of Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press.

© 2020, Kyle Laws

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