by Frances McColl Stewart
Frances McColl Stewart’s second Middle Island Press title, Vignettes, is as the name implies: a series of poetic vignettes—brief evocative memories, descriptions, words of wisdom (playful and nostalgic in turn) woven with delicate crafting—each inspired by a different loved one; each a gift from the perspective of poet as sister, daughter, friend, great-grandmother… 54 perfect-bound pages.
(A browse upon page 42…)
“Rubbin’ is Racin’”
I miss the days of thrumming sound felt from heart to feet.
At times I can convince myself I miss the red, the heat.
Red clay, red dust, red haze, red sun will clog a throat and bake a brain,
Mirage-like ripples travel up, obscuring flat terrain.
Then blessed reward – Daytona, that wet-sand hard-packed track.
Hot, of course, but ocean breezes stroke and cool a back.
The tide goes out in evening, creating space to run
And time there is for one good race before the day is done.
Before the Florida night slams shut, the beach tastes Piedmont Speed
And Good Ol’ Boys begin their game of human pool, their steed
Also their cue, as impact point, trajectories, and force
Directed straight ahead, are used to clear their course.
Anything can happen before that flag comes down – don’t blink.
The last lap is the crazy one. Don’t ever think
You know who wins until they do. Fireball’s up in flames again.
And Petty hit a gull. Elliot’s run out of gas. Dear Lord, it’s pouring rain.
Hunter’s got a flat and not heading toward the pit.
Harley’s coming round the turn — Please God, don’t let him hit.
Labonte’s car has thrown a rod, he’ll be out a while.
Nerve and joy and honor — Inimitable style!
(Vignettes is available via Amazon.com. Click below to purchase.)