Arts & Culture · Poetry

Poetry Sunday: Alice Pettway Season

How lucky we have been this fall to have a group of Alice Pettway’s poems to savor one at a time. How strange it is to realize that it is still fall, though the holiday season is full upon us and snow has fallen in much of our country. Seasons are of the mind as well as the calendar, obviously, and here Alice gives us an African season that is as remote as it is exotic and beautifully rendered.


O Tempo de Chuva

The rain comes like a toy boat
across hot waves of sand and beaches
itself on the shores of the dry time
where its paint peels and shrinks.

But while it floats, what colors
flash from its small hull, brave
among the browns and grays
of corn husks and spent peanut stems.

A toy boy knocks mangoes
from their branches; they fall
like raindrops or bombs
around him in the sweaty sand.

And the toy boy rides the toy boat
across the year, finally sitting
in the shadow of his sail, stranded
on a shallow bar, strangely real
among the growing heat.

First published as “The Time of Rain” in The Foundling Review, July 2011

Alice_Pettway_Author_PhotoAlice Pettway’s poetry and prose have appeared in various publications, including The Bitter Oleander, Crab Creek Review, The Connecticut Review, Lullwater Review, Keyhole, Teaching Tolerance, WomenArts Quarterly, and others. Her chapbook, Barbed Wire and Bedclothes, was published in 2009. Alice is a former Lily Peter fellow, Raymond L. Barnes Poetry Award winner, and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. She and her partner, AJ, currently live in Bogotá, Colombia, where she teaches creative writing.

Photo: Valerie Downes


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