Take Heaven by Lisa Young

Poem title: Take Heaven Poet Name: Lisa Young Poem begins: Pushed into shore by Zephyr and Chloris, I was under the direction of Spring who cloaked me in a robe bedecked with flowers. Enter the other grade 8 graduates who were also readying themselves for the ceremony and dance. Take Heaven! as Fra Giovanni says.  Young and luscious was everything and everyone. Particularly Bernardo who was moving to Mexico. Unavailable—at someone else’s side. But Daniel (he had a smile!) and I danced  every slow dance, pulling away—only to re-engage with the next slow song till the night was almost over. Yanked from our revelry, Bernardo  pointed to the exit, asked me to follow. Under the splashes of school light  breaking the darkness, he led me across the field empty of conversation, where he sat on the swings, requested I join him. I declined, too worried about muddying my dress— yellow crimped cotton—and my almost matching shawl.  Pumping his legs to gain height, Bernardo said, He’s using you. Daniel only wants you for your body. Bemused—I snorted.  Egypt’s Sphinx only knows what I should have said.  Rising out of a scallop shell—whole and grown to take my place among the beauties, you wanted me to smell the fresh air, play on the swings. I wanted the dance, to be under the pulse of music. Wasn’t it better to have and to hold than to stand alone? Easy was how Daniel and I fit together. Reasons why we choose another— tonight or any other night—is still a question all these years later in the orange grove of the present. End of Poem. Credits: Copyright © Lisa Young Lisa Young is the author of the collection When the Earth and the founding editor of the poetry journal Juniper. Her poetry has featured in several publications including, the Literary Review of Canada, Minola Review, and Verse-Virtual.