The poem featured below was previously published in The Litchfield Review.
Wednesday’s Children(Wednesday’s Child is WNBC’S weekly televised feature that recruits
adoptive families for foster children – usually the older children are featured)
We, too, were once as pretty as princes,
cow-licked hair, rose-lipped mouths,
orphans with eyes that sparkled desire.
We swung from birches that creaked
under our scrawny-body-loads
and doubled them over riverbanks
like the poles we fashioned to hook sunfish.
We placed them flapping into exposed palms,
watched their gelid eyes seek the water
from which they were plucked.
We lined the fish gleaming along the river’s edge
and knew exactly when to offer them up,
let them slip from our sullied hands
into sparkling pools to dive toward
polished pebbles. Always they disturbed
the surface smooth to our touch, always
they vanished like fogged shadows.
Yet how the forsaken writhed when aired
too long, their “O” mouths gaping Now
Now Now, gathering dust, their sheenless
forms arched and buckled, their gills
no longer slit-tight, sweeping dirty earth
deep into pure bodies, and we watched,
waiting, free of pain.
— Lee Keylock
An “Imported” poet, Lee Keylock’s poetry often reflects the conflict between the English and the Irish, framed with mythic themes, fleshed out with historic fact and eyewitness detail. Originally from Essex, England, he settled in the U.S. in 1990. He is a teacher of English at Newtown High School, Sandy Hook CT. His poems have appeared in Connecticut River Review, Caduceus, Raving Dove, Connecticut Review, the Litchfield Review and in Bent Pin Quarterly among others. Lee is a student of noted poet Vivian Shipley. If these facts aren’t enough to bring you out – the guy has a fabulous accent to go with his fabulous poetry!!!