Text of the poem is below.
I feel like I’m failing –
galloping down a metal slide,
thighs burning from the sticking –
Remember this feeling:
It is 98 degrees in St. Louis
in August and you are just trying
to play at recess
when The Gorilla dares you to climb
the high slide reserved for sixth graders.
You’re the chicken, so they’d never believe
that at home, in your back yard,
you fly through the air, eyes closed, wind
flapping your pigtails across your face.
You surprise them all
and hoist yourself, without handles,
to the apex
and hobble back to class
wearing your slideburn
Emily Vieweg, MFA is a poet and playwright originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, The Voices Project, Red Weather Literary Magazine, Soundings Review, Art Young’s Good Morning, The Basil O’Flaherty Feminist Voices and more.
Her one-act play Atomic Lounge was performed in Chicago at The 25th Annual Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Theatre Festival in 2013.
She lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she is a mother of two, cat wrangler and office assistant.