Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lucille Lang Day features 11/21

11/21 Lucille Lang Day hosted by Bruce

Lucille Lang Day (http://lucillelangday.com) has published ten poetry collections and chapbooks, most recently Becoming an Ancestor and Dreaming of Sunflowers: Museum Poems, winner of the 2014 Blue Light Poetry Prize. She is also a co-editor of Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California and the author of a children’s book, Chain Letter, and an award-winning memoir, Married at Fourteen: A True Story. The founder and director of a small press, Scarlet Tanager Books, she worked as a science writer and science educator for many years, including seventeen as director of the Children's Hospital Hall of Health, a museum formerly at the corner of Shattuck and Kittredge in downtown Berkeley. She is of Wampanoag, British, and Swiss/German descent.


When I was four, my friend Diane
said her cousin Claire thought
she was the center of the universe
and everything existed just for her.
I was stunned. “I thought I was
the center of the universe,” I said,
my lip starting to quiver. “We all
start out thinking that,” Diane, age nine,
who’d taught me how to add and read,
explained as I burst into tears, scared
in a brand new way. Her mother said,
“She’s just a little girl. Don’t make
her cry,” but it was too late. Birds
were already singing for someone else,
maybe themselves. Even my parents
and my toys no longer belonged
only to me. The sun, moon
and stars trembled as they turned
away, leaving me alone, small
as a bit of broken shell on a beach,
helpless before the gathering waves.

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