Rope

July 16, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 

 

Rope

 

By Rynn Williams

 

The girl’s father laughs a little too hard
 
when I say: She knows whats important in life
 
as his daughter whips the dime store jump rope
 
over her head for the twelve thousandth time—
 
laughs as if I’m joking, when really, she has it down—
 
sparkly pink handles grimy with effort,
 
her face obscured by her hair, shins thin and bruised,
 
socks down at the ankles. Abandoned
 
by the rest of the crowd, the concrete square
 
an archipelago, an alignment with rigor the others
 
cannot fathom, she moves with fierce persistence
 
into afternoon, the heft of the handles, smack of the rope—
 
no Double Dutch, limbo, no communal game,
 
but this resolute definition of rhythm,
 
slatted bench shadows lengthening into space,
 
the other kids simply forgetting she’s there,
 
her solitary corner of the playground darkening
 
as the dinner hour approaches, while pigeons pause
 
on their branches, squirrels come down the trunk and stop,
 
with rush hour beyond the fence, cars idling,
 
and the rope’s metronome, forgotten as breath,
 
weaving all the disparate energies of girl—
 
elation, fury, eagerness, song—
 
into one singular strand.
 
 

Rynn Williams, “Rope” from Adonis Garage.
Copyright © 2005 by Rynn Williams.


 

 


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