Suppose we surprised him coming off the path
into the patch of pines and saw palmettos,
two girls with our child-sized bikes. Suppose
he had a reason to chase us back to the path,
his pale face flushed with—what? Desire? Wrath?
He shouted, “Come back,” but we fled. Who knows
what he was doing there in the woods. Impose
an innocent narrative and still the math
will come out wrong. There was a flash of skin,
a man in yellow shorts with dark brown curls,
a shout. And in the dream that I’m still in
he stumbles out, a living question mark,
and we are halfway gone. We’re only girls
playing in the woods. It’s hours before dark.
My first look at VQR. Extremely interesting and even challenging. Marred, however, by the "suggestsedd read times," which are childish at best, and insulting at worst. Yes, I might read a poem in one minute,but that does not allow a thoughtful reaction. Writers deserve more consideration than this.
Even as adults, we are still these girls inside, wondering if the stranger is safe. This poem incites the fear. The imagery of childhood, I can swe my own bike with a basket. We can feel alone even with our friend standing there. There is something about those final two lines that still make us feel afraid. He has seen us. Will he follow? Is he on our trail?