On the Refusal to Speak
Rebecca Givens Rolland
dancing girl press, 2012
Rebecca Givens Rolland is the author of The Wreck of Birds (Bauhan Publishing, 2012), which won the 2011 May Sarton New Hampshire First Book Prize and will be published in conjunction with the May Sarton Centennial Symposium. The recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, the Clapp Fellowship from Yale University, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and the Dana Award, she has been published in journals including the Colorado Review, American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, Witness, and the Cincinnati Review.
I planted a microphone in the bush, and the bush
sang. No burning, just a muted internal
hum. Floodwaters sloshed by to say hello,
proffering an upsurge of bulbs. Scarlet,
azalea, do-not-forget-my-name. No
gardener, I keeled them up in clumps. Almost
no effort to crush them, just a squeeze;
I wouldn’t say I was sorry to blacken their
lines. Next time, I’ll bring jam and a bucket
of daisies: singe me, I’ll wager white petals sneer.