Monday, February 13, 2017

Cuffing Season

by Editor-in-Chief Mary Bast

Bacopa Literary Review 2016 is graced with diversity in many ways, including a wide range of age among our published authors. We've already toasted Pushcart Prize nominee Lynn Geri, who didn't begin writing until in her seventies. In this post we celebrate our youngest contributor, who was 15 years old when she submitted her talented and tormenting poem, "Cuffing Season."

Jenneh Montgomery, while a student at The Fine Arts Center in Greenville, South Carolina, won Honorable Mentions, Silver Keys, and one Gold Key for her poetry packet in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competion." The Gold Key piece, "Sestina an autobiography," went on to be judged nationally. She auditioned and was accepted to spend her junior and senior years of high school at the prestigious South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.

In most Editor's Blog posts celebrating Bacopa poets and writers, we show the author credits after the work. In this case, however, Jenneh's accomplishments have been listed first because you'll want to sit for a while and absorb the effects of this intelligent and gifted young poet's "Cuffing Season."
                Cuffing Season

My mother came with the dried leaves
and left in handcuffs. This was seasonal.
My brother's smile shifted into a thin line
when her knuckles pecked the door.
Winter was going to be harsh this year.
He could already see blizzards in her eyes.

My mother came with white ground
the year we were taken from her.
She buried our bodies under our bed.
We were found by men with badges.
My mother left in handcuffs again
and our bodies were given to our aunt.

My mother never came back one year.
My brother's smile stayed, but my gaze
stayed at the window hoping to see a blizzard.
The sky remained grey.

We once called her the black devil.
Then we were reminded by the devil himself
that she was our Mother.

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