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spacer.gif
spacer.gif   American Open Mike Volume 2: Kelly Nicole Thomson
Posted by : cj on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 11:09 AM
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American Open Mike:  New American Voices .

** Kelly Nicole Thomson **


Unclaimed Property Office, State of Virginia

It’s one hazard of a job that buries me in the lives
of others – a peril unrecognized by workman’s
comp. and the paltry paychecks for which I lose my day
amidst suffocating piles of the miscellaneous. I’m left
here, with yellowed tape and dried up markers, to sift
through the misplaced and forgotten, for an hourly rate
of tepid coffee and moth-ridden memories.
This morning’s inventory: a leather-bound wallet smoothed tan
along the edges - John Taylor/Organ Donor- child-size
sunglasses black with hot pink stars, a broken blue umbrella,
and one small, dusty journal - scribbled on the inside - its pages
crinkled with remnants of water stains. On my left, a locket
lies resting, To Mary With Love, 1954. I catalogue to forget
myself in pieces, and inventory those with a life to lose.


Haiti

My feet dangled behind the missionary truck,
and granted kisses to the dusty ground with each jolt
of its shaky frame. I let my toes swirl left and right
in the dark sand. I was being pulled up the road by a force
that believed grace could be delivered to a broken down
shack in the form of a church that lay resting,
crumbling, on the top of a mountain.

It was then that I saw you and your feet plodding
uphill, dust caked up the sides of your brown legs,
a dark knotted stick digging into the ground
before you. A shawl - turquoise, black,
and red hung on your shoulders – burdened
by the weight of lines carved on your
face and dulled by dirt that matted strands
of your gray hair. My toes trailed through earth
as I caught your steady gaze – old soul eyes
that followed my progress up the trail before you.

Hours later I sat in the darkening, crumbled
church, feet smothered in the dirt, as sunset pierced
through cracks in wooden, planked walls. Flies buzzed
in chorus with the circle of damp bodies that sat
sweating for salvation and a message
of grace. Our leader was praising God
when I saw you hobble through the open
back door, the sun setting on your shoulders
in shades of turquoise, black and red.


Kelly Thomson is a "struggling 20-something" living in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in English. Kelly Thomson says: "I have opinions and experiences that I'd like to share with readers and I feel like I am able to do it well. My creative writing teacher in the University of Mary Washington, Claudia Emerson, just won the Pulitzer Prize for her recent poetry book. I'd like to make her proud."


Copyright 2006, all rights reserved.

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