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Story by Joseph Spece (Read author interview) September 25, 2012

art by Elena Rall

She was not fifteen, clutch of violets in hand. Aboard the field she found a proper clearing; it was there she took the violets, sat waiting for keel. Is the sky not fine today, she thought. Would she not fancy seeing the deckhands so high, and the sea like a sheet of tin. The check blanket was took out, and though no cautionary hand lay on her shoulder, she (not fourteen) kept bolt straight, lowered to kneel. From here there was the sea, from this clearing—the sea was, by her doing, accessory to a handful of blown violets.

Still, the headmistress bade her sit up; even in August she was attended by proscription. Could she not let her skirts fall lightly on this handsome check, arch her back against the beating sun, point toes? Why the ghost of vocabulary cards while she waited for keel.

There was the keel, and pearl sails, and the hands in shirts. A clearing by the cliff, this find. Then a man looking up, whose face was a marked sphere only, whose hair was a cap. She was like a sitter in rows at the theater, certain the look was not for her, that the lead looked simply into lights, but how the bird in her body rose for a shining moment!

So, should she move.

About the Author

Joseph Spece holds fellowships in writing from the Poetry Foundation and the MacDowell Colony. His first book of poems, Roads (Cherry Grove) is forthcoming in March 2013. He lives outside Boston, MA.

About the Artist

Elena Rall has been an emerging artist since high school, earning awards in numerous state competitions including the New York State Fair Fine Arts and Scholastic Arts competitions. Since an early age she studied with local artists including nationally acclaimed artist Nicora Gangi.

This story appeared in Issue Thirty-Seven of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Thirty-Seven

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