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Lavonne J. Adams :
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Lavonne J. Adams has received both the Persephone Poetry Prize and the Randall Jarrell/Harperprints Chapbook Award. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Southern Poetry Review, Connecticut Review, Briar Cliff Review, and Missouri Review. She teaches poetry at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
March 5th, 2008
I grew up with the accoutrements of pipe organs filling our garage, some as small as piccolos, some arriving like giants in rough-hewn crates. On occasional Saturdays, I helped my father tune what he had built inside quiet churches, each dim as an underwater scene, each cool as a cave no matter what season. I preferred the older sanctuaries with their faint smell of damp, with their dark mahogany pews and marble floors that would clack beneath women’s Sunday heels. I walked with my father the length of the nave toward where a crucifix hung like a compass, then veered right or left toward the organ’s console. Before he disappeared down some dark hallway like he would one day disappear forever, my father…
July 30th, 2007
At the base of the Taos mountains, a fragmented tree, victim of a lightning strike. As I pass, I avert my gaze as if confronted by something intimate in the paleness of the exposed wood. A friend’s son who was struck by lightning later took his life. I wonder how much that act hinged on burdens I knew nothing about—a complex landscape forged from disappointment and pain— how much was due to the lightning strike’s trauma, the exit wound like a stigmata. Once, I longed for a life of extraordinary goodness—hoped to radiate faith like a five-hour sunburn, to heal others with a touch. Now, I’m satisfied with wisps of grace: letting cars merge into thick traffic in front of me, tipping…
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