Untitled by Loren King © 2013 Creativity Explored Licensing, LLC.

From LitCrawl 2013: Gail Ford and Loren King

Posted on October 27, 2013

As part of LitCrawl 2013, several writers from The Writers Studio visited Creativity Explored last weekend for our event InspiREAD. 

Gail Ford was among the writers who created new works based on art from CE Artists. Below are two poems Gail wrote in response to Loren King’s artwork.

Thanks to Gail Ford for giving us permission to publish these here.

Alligator, Alligator

king of dark water
you slide through the green river
only your dark eyes showing
Mama says you will eat me
Sister says you will grab me
and make me drown.

I say,
I am splendid in my stripes and dots.
You are splendid in your stripes and dots.
Your face is black
and so is mine.
Little boy, little boy
sweet morsel meat
I see you leaping on the sand
not much bigger than a flea.

Alligator, Alligator
big brother alligator
you roar like a lion
the water vibrates all around
My smile is full of square white teeth
your smile is full of sharp gnashing teeth
our nostrils are both lined in white.

The white science lady says you are cousin to the birds.
The tribe’s magic man says You created the World.
I say you are here now and invincible.
Little boy, little boy
I saw your mother open like an egg
and drop you out. Your just-born
voice blew across the water

Alligator, Alligator
your heavy hungry muscles
lift you out of water into air
and you are flying
My eyes are the color of your claws
Your claws are the shape of my fingers
Our arms are spread wide and relaxed on the ground.

The outland minister talks Sundays of the lion and the lamb
I want to sing him our alligator song
and show him our orangegreybluepinkbrowns.
Little boy, little warrior
I am always hungry, but not
for little brother so fierce and strong

Alligator, Alligator
belly in the soft sand
I lie safe in your shadow
We lie together in
the light and warmth.           

Long Ago Sunday

She did know
sleepily curled on his lap
rocked by the rise and fall of his chest
that her daddy wasn’t too aware of her
he was watching football

She didn’t know
why he liked football
all those huge men clattering against each other,
falling, doing it all over again.

Never mind
he had on a white shirt
that mommy had ironed
it still smelled of clean and steam
and was smooth against her cheek.

She didn’t think
that anything could ever feel
so good, his arm curved around her
his finger absentmindedly
drawing a little circle on her wrist

His hands are large
she thought, and thick, she thought,
and hairy, she giggled. She had him
for hours, she thought,
a whole long lazy afternoon

She didn’t know
where he went when he went to work
she didn’t know what he meant when
he talked about the evening news.
she didn’t know why he laughed at some things
and not at others.

She did know
that even if she didn’t know all that, she did know this,
that he smelled a little salty
a little bit like the garlic he had at lunch.
that she fit perfectly
her head tucked beneath his chin.

She didn’t know
that she would grow
that rules and awkwardness would cleave           
that this easy, safe, sleepy, warmth would forever go

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