Our next FPL Off the Page Poetry Series will feature poets Dede Fox and Terry Jude Miller on Wednesday, June 4 at 7pm.
A native Jewish Texan, Dede Fox attended the University of the Americas in Mexico City and graduated with an English degree from Washington University in St. Louis. She has continued her writing education with InPrint Houston, SCBWI, Writers in Performance, Highlights Writing Workshops, and Writers in the Schools. Texas State Poet Laureate (2011) David Parsons has written about Dede’s book Confessions of a Jewish Texan: not since reading William Jay Smith’s Cherokee Lottery, have I seen such poignant personal histories of a crash of cultures put down so artfully on the page; reaffirming my belief that history is best written, understood and fully realized through poetry.
Glow and Spring Cleaning are from the book Confessions of a Jewish Texan by Dede Fox:
for Lirit and Yosepha
Out of blue shadowed woods, fireflies
dart through leafy hedges,
drift up in silence, swimming
to the moon in shimmering chains.
A round-shouldered woman watches
from a screened porch
as she rocks a restless baby.
In a world too hot and dry for magic,
she hasn’t seen them for years,
thought they no longer existed.
Now she knows she can chase them,
chase them with her grand-baby
beneath a summer moon.
She descends weather worn
steps, captures one, feels it flutter
in her closed hand. Her round-eyed
granddaughter solemnly studies the spaces
between her trembling fingers
and sees it glow.
Get out the broom and the dustpan.
Sweep them into a pile.
Scoop them up.
Lick them off the floor if you have to.
Fill up grocery sacks.
Fold down the tops.
Get every one.
Load them into a wheelbarrow.
Dump them into the garbage can.
Make damn sure they’re gone,
Every one of them,
That confetti of excuses
Binding us like slaves in Egypt
When that Red Sea must be crossed
to find the Promised Land.