Literature 12-5-2006

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Rebecca Frost

"What Light" presents a new poem by a Minnesota poet every week. The work is chosen by a jury of writers, publishers, and editors, and sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

Rebecca Frost

On This Day

On this day
    I am inside the milkweed pod,
nestled in down,
(naked)      skinless, whispering
    and unsprung.
I am crying. I am close to melting

but the green tent encloses
and encloses. I am here
for eternity. Or, as long

as necessary.

On this day

    the sun warms the canvas

and my paint is now butter. I am

dripping and pooling, leaking

through leaves. Brine shrimp
come out of nowhere. The ground
is covered. At nightfall

my bathtub sports
    a salty ring.

On this day
    I jump the trampoline
fantastic;     center and edges,
spirals and shouting. I am joy,
with the pine air multiplying
inside my lungs. Tree frogs
sing under my arms. No thing

On this day

    I pray at dawn.
My feathers alight in the hair of my

grandmother. Her eggs
are beans   in   my   hands
which I plant, plant, plant.
    Three crows watch.


“On This Day” was generated on July 20, 2006, the first anniversary of my brother’s death by fire. Friends had sent poems as solace, and after reading those, this one about all the seasons of mourning, and feeling, flew onto the page. Writing as an act of redemption and transformation feels necessary to me. Who else but us to mobilize new forms into being? Let us not blink at the opportunity to be primary creator, blazing trails into alignment with what is. Poems are one way of moving ideas, glimpsing between the veils, and sensing the rapturous connection, on any old day.


Rebecca Frost is a student in the MFA program in writing at Hamline University, where she is a recipient of the 2006 Bailey Endowed Scholarship. After more than twenty years in dance studios and on stages, she is still keenly interested in gravity, but is practicing letting her fingers do the walking on keyboards and drum skins. She is the recipient of a 2004 SASE Verve Grant for Spoken Word.

Rebecca Frost

MFA, Writing, Hamline University BA, Theatre Arts, University of Minnesota …   read more