Over the next few weeks of Poetry Classroom, a new-ish feature here at Tweetspeak, we’ll share poems from Anne M. Doe Overstreet (the teacher of our new 2013 Poetry Workshop). You are invited to discuss the poems—their forms, images, sounds, meanings, surprises—ask questions of Anne and each other, and write your own poems along the way.
Public Safety Film #217
On the first day of the month, a cloudless afternoon,
it’s time for the next in a series of safety films:
What to Do In Case of a Bomb. Mrs. M.
rolls out the projector and flips off the overhead lights.
One kid with a freshly shorn head forms a fist.
The homeroom class is worshipping in slow reptilian shock
the ticking of celluloid looping through a reel, blooming
a bubble of bombs and ash. The girl by the window
curls fetal under her desk, grasping her shoes, listening
to the sound of the world ending. We’re all hoping
to be saved, sent out into a day redeemed from disaster,
color bleeding back into tree limbs, the cinder grass.
These are the smells of last days—Tide detergent,
mown grass clinging wetly to our sneakers, Bazooka gum
tucked between cheek and molar. Clasped hands protect
the fracturable spine. We dream a shell, mesmerized
by the way patterns form on the back of the eyelid, sparking
red and gleaming horn. Crouched in our incomprehension,
we wait for the bell’s release, turtles softened by the clean
sun, the carotid artery beating tetherball tetherball.
The next day recalling a slow boil of dust
and the way we blew over like wheat in the wind.
Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $5.99 — Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In January we’re exploring the theme Coffee and Tea.