Featured Poet: Melanie Rosin

Tonight’s poem comes to us from Melanie Rosin. You might remember her from last year’s National Poetry Month series, but in case you didn’t catch her poem back then, here’s a link to it.

 

***

Oak Park
After Dylan Thomas’ “Fern Hill”

 

Now as I was young and blithe under the shade
of the oak tree, whose one hundred years of wisdom
stood firm in the ground and supported my head
when I leaned back, the sun sparkled
like a canary diamond in the sky,
showcasing the shadows of my protector’s leaves
on the ground as they danced with each gust.

 

And I was wide-eyed and ran my hands
through the fresh, crisp-cut greens of the links
and often picked the reddish pink begonias
lining the base of the gates when my nanny
was buried in her novel. I saved
those blossoms under the tree’s protection
until the sun’s decline reminded my nanny and me
my parents would soon come home from work.

 

And now, to return to Oak Park
during brief visits home for the holidays,
as my parents and I amble around our neighborhood
on a Sunday afternoon, balmy beads form on my face.
I wish to retreat from the stone in the sky
scorching my exposed skin.

 

But, just as I did when I was young and blithe,
I also wish to catch a glimpse of the begonias
I used to bring home to my parents
but that have since been replaced with manicured bushes,
and I wish to rest under that guardian oak
who has decayed into a perpetual winter tree
despite the adolescent stories its seen,
and I wish to dance under my past protector’s shade
and form patterns in the ground alongside its leaves.

 

***

 

Melanie Rosin is from Houston, Texas. Melanie’s collection of poems, Four Feet from the Surface (Neo Literati Press), was published in 2011. It can be found on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. She is currently a second-year law student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor but continues to write.

Featured Poet: Melanie Rosin

Tonight’s featured poet is someone I’ve known since she was in eighth grade and first applying to the high school where I teach. I noticed her immediately because she was so accomplished already at a young age, and I had the pleasure of working with her when she took my classes in high school. Her senior year, she was editor-in-chief of our school’s award-winning literary magazine and then went on to become a poetry editor for the publication at her college.

Melanie Rosin was born in Houston, Texas. She studied accounting and English at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and is about to begin law school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Melanie’s collection of poems, Four Feet from the Surface, was published in 2011 by Neo Literati Press.

For more information, visit Neo Literati Press, or you may purchase her book on Amazon by clicking here.

***

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

after Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Facing It”

 

Lost names stain my lips.
I walk alongside the wall,
and the bitter taste never leaves me,
only intensified as I continue to read.
Here they are,
and here I am,
so many of us,
separated by so many years
yet somehow together
when I open my eyes.
I touch the names that march in place
(a mark of the dedication of those
who will never leave their posts),
and in this stark reflection,
hands touch hands —
a warm connection that flowers
from the contact of my palm
to another on the glass —
and for a moment,
I think the other belongs to one of the names
on the gabbro wall.