Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Magdalena Ball - City Child - 3 - Goldflower


Note the twenty year old rebel
with a precocious kid
a Martin acoustic
and soprano inherited
from her mother

the most famous band
you’ve never heard
on the cusp of the seventies
a trio of women
performing in prisons, festivals
open air shows

I was the kid
with a tambourine

hanging out backstage
babysat by audiences
everywhere, anyone
running onstage
when my song started

don’t want no chain reaction

music kept her alive
during those years
a single mother navigating
depression, bad boyfriends
the memory of a fierce
heroin addiction, kicked

silver tracks still visible on
guitar honed arms

I was the kid
the back of the college classroom
pretending to take notes
with a fat crayon

we went everywhere together
I didn’t need much parenting

even at that age
I was the carer
keeping her anxiety under control

I stayed close
held her hand

at Randall’s Island
we were waifs on stage
a single mother
and her hammy kid
warming the audience for Jimi

Goldflower tapped deep-seated anger
from the women in that crowd
singing against their abusers
partners, fathers, the government
the men standing next to them

our conjoined naivety
in the face of such radicalism
created a time bubble
freezing us there together.


  1. somehow this ending has too much closure for me
    ... there's too much of a 'this is what it all means / adds up to' equals sign hanging over it


    the men standing next to them

    does seem like a strong ending
    because it makes the real conditions so immediate
    (I mean the entertaining going on in the otherwise unnoticed real conditions of women's lives)

    1. That’s excellent advice, Kit and just what I needed. Thank you.

  2. I do agree with Kit, the poem should end with the men standing next to them !