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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)

TITLE: Probing for Sweet Peas
By Emily Gibson
07/12/08


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Wafting morning scent
Of waffles with maple syrup

Combines with a dirty diaper left too long in the pail
Connecting to tempera paint pots and brushes rinsed in glass jars of

Stunningly bright pastels spread on an easel
While wearing dadís oversized hand-me-down shirt buttoned backwards

As he gently encourages the reach beneath the downy underside
Of the clucking hen for a warm oval egg in the nest

To the yearning tug of a hungry mouth on the breast
Transforming to pebbly tapioca pudding

Rolling on the tongue reciting
The last stanza of "Dover Beach" in freshman English

Just down the hall of clanging lockers
To orchestra class where strains of "Clair de Lune" filter moonlight

Through the treetops while whoosh of owl wings
Are felt, not heard, sensed, not seen.

Aware of bright lights and whirring machines
The low voice of the surgeon asking

What do you see now, what can you hear, what odor
And flavor, what sensation on your skin

With each probe of temporal lobe, of fornix
Of hypothalamus hidden deep in gray matter

Of neurons and synaptic holding bins of chemical transmitters
Storing the mixed bag of past experience

To find the offending spot to be removed, to erase the electrical
Impulses that seize up all remembrance, all awareness

And be free again to live, to love, to swoon at the perfume
Of summer sweet peas climbing the peeling wall of the garden shed.


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This article has been read 503 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Betsy Markman07/17/08
I really liked the images the you evoked. The blending in of brain surgery was almost surreal. Is this a true story?
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/17/08
You have wonderful imagery in a powerful poem--excellently written.
Chely Roach07/18/08
Absolutely wonderful...
Marita Vandertogt07/20/08
Loved the imagery, and I think you covered all the senses - I could taste, touch and feel my way through each stanza...
Beautifully done!
Stella Walsh07/23/08
The poem really carries you along. But the ending is surprising. Great images!
Benjamin Graber07/24/08
Wow... That ending was really powerful completion to a sweet poem.
You've left me speechless... I hope you win an EC with this one.