[Poet Carol Ellis returns with a new poem, "In the rooms of childhood," which won the second prize in the hotly-contested "Free Verse" category -- 173 entries --- of this year's Oregon State Poetry Association competition. Carol has been invited to read her poem at the OSPA conference in Eugene later this month. It will also be published in the Verseweaver anthology later this year.]
In the rooms of childhood
there are tall ceilings, dark furniture
looms above me, the radio speaks
into pervasive silence.
I’m sitting close to father, quiet,
involved in the radio story.
He leans back, shirt collar open, one arm
resting on the couch, cigarette in hand.
I like to watch his face, deep blue eyes,
small mustache, thin mouth with a grimace
of smile. When the Lone Ranger rides into night
a drumbeat of hooves fills the living room.
Other girls have loud fathers, who sometimes curse
and sit in their kitchens in white t-shirts.
They like to lift the girls high up to shoulders
and carry them, laughing, to bed.
For me there is quiet and the radio story,
outside there may be snow.