Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Heaven Cake

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Heaven Cake

Sono Nis Press, 1997

"The childhoods rediscovered by Linda Rogers are street-smart, vulgar, embarrassed, self-pitying, nasty, naive and wonderfully honest - they're the childhoods we all carry with us, a bit of Tom Sawyer and a dash of Studs Lonigan. These poems substantiate Rogers' well-deserved popularity. She is one of our finest poets: imaginative, fearless, entertaining and intelligent." - Charles Lillard


From Heaven Cake:

Beyond the Lilies

That child loved music.
If you stand in a certain spot,
you can hear her, a little frisson
of hammers and strings.
Her father was saving those special boards
to make her a dulcimer.
At a certain age,
the wood would be seasoned perfectly.
At a certain time, she would be ready too,
her hands capable and strong.

You all played together, then -
the mother, the father, friends -
while the child danced in her gypsy
dresses and passed her hat on the street.

They made a film of hippies with fiddles
and straw hats and dresses.
The child danced like someone possessed.
Everyone said she was beautiful.
They said she had red shoes,
just like that girl in the story.
If there was music,
she couldn't stop dancing.

The wood was for her.
The child loved to smell trees,
the songs of wood and sap,
the family of loons circling the lake
out where it's deep, beyond the lilies.

You say you hardly remember her now,
a blur in a film, dancing for money,
but you do recall the smell of the wood,
the sound of hammers,
angels beating their wings in water,
the night you made her tiny coffin
from wood her father was aging for her.

Read more about Heaven Cake at Linda's website.