Bewitched Playground

By David Rivard b. 1953 David Rivard
Each could picture probably
with great care his brother drawing   
the corded string of a watered silk bag
and mumbling to Basho above the keepsake   
pay your respects to mother's white hair   
now your eyebrows look a little white too
but all have turned instead to watch this child   
a girl my daughter Simone
an astute migrant
skimming the stream of days
toted wherever she wants
to eat the dirt of inattentive towns   
to arm wrestle as with
the blind & steal a stoic
shipping him home—
all have turned & run to her because   
she has a spider on her neck she has   
seen herself
though blindfolded by a cloud
the sun is a yellowjacket
drowning in a cup of coffee she carries   
a spider in her hair
blond & blonder dear river.

David Rivard, “Bewitched Playground” from Bewitched Playground. Copyright © 2000 by David Rivard. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minnesota,

Source: Bewitched Playground (Graywolf Press, 2000)

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Poet David Rivard b. 1953

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Youth, Parenthood, Living

Holidays Father's Day

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 David  Rivard


David Rivard was born in Fall River, Massachusetts. His collections of poetry include Torque (1988), which won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, Wise Poison (1996), winner of the James Laughlin Award, Bewitched Playground (2000), Sugartown (2005), and Otherwise Elsewhere (2010). He has also been a contributor to such publications as Ploughshares, The New England Review, and Poetry, and is a former editor of The Harvard . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Youth, Parenthood, Living

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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