She finds herself wandering the after-school playground
on tall leaning metal twists of uncertainty,
starting a new life after what once was stable.
A single push of the memory of Dad packing his bags
gives her all the momentum to keep the
two-by-three arc of her turns:
an effort to keep her head on straight by making
Everything Else spin.
The slide keeps this six-year-old girl occupied,
swiveling between houses of outgrown love,
curving tightly into itself.
“Three-times-five is fifteen” she rotes in preparation
for a cruel test of aptitude forced on a kid
who can barely hold her pencil straight from the trauma
of a cycle where she only sees Dad on Saturdays.
On a different dawn she finds the merry-go-round,
her head much taller than the guarding bar now,
half of her stressing about a boy in class, and half
watching over brothers of a new family,
five and eight, tossing crunch golden leaves.
They don’t really need her there but the gap between
eight and thirteen justifies her presence in her mother’s eyes.
Thirteen through twenty-one years stretch beyond their time,
or at least that’s what the dissonance between
her mind, the dates on the calendar,
and her syllabi shouted out to the gaping darkness
of that same after-school playground.
She sprints a perfect arc in the dark looking for answers,
or an escape from the spiral where she got caught
between battles of two sets of families
that would never make one whole.
me. The strong sticky
strings of spiders?
it is. The ponderous
bend of snail shells?
a quiet day
(Used by permission of Daniel Finkel.)
Gliding Through Fibonacci
I start on the edge of the (w)hole
A gaping maw aching to swallow me
(Like so much fish thrown carelessly
Into the mouth of a starving whale)
The crispness of its rounded edges
Emphasize the futility of attempted escape
Can’t go over it, can’t go under it
Gotta go through it.
So I tip forward on my toes and fall,
Straight down one straight chute
(Newton’s alleged apple
Couldn’t have fallen straighter)
Before entering a second shape
As unerringly vertical as the first.
Bit boring yes, those twin upright towers,
But they initiate that perfect sequence.
Because here I enter the third shape.
It begins with a smooth curve
I must maneuver as expertly
As any Olympic bobsled team,
Though the graceful curve is cut off
With a sharp jerk to the left
(Be carful to avoid whiplash)
And I shoot horizontally—
And enter a half-circle curling up,
Spinning me out before opening
Into a second identical crescent,
And then a third again. I’ve soared
Through three Cheshire-Cat smiles
Before I’m suddenly flying up,
Up a great vertical tunnel
And jerking left (whiplash again)
To be dumped into a wide arc.
And I spin around and around
This perfect loop-da-loop.
Like one of those old-fashioned
Coaster rides for small children,
(“Please stand against the giraffe’s
Neck to ensure you’re tall enough”)
Only this one’s endless. Infinite.
Used by permission of Cary Anne Kane
Search the PFTW site for more “fibonacci poems.”
My Side of the Story: A Fibonacci Poem
by Jesi Kim
That point in time
You knew there was a line
You should not have crossed that line
You should have seen things from my angle
But no, you stuck your triangular nose into my business
A place that was as guarded as the Pentagon, and now you know
You should have followed the instructions on the red octagon, but instead you told
And now everyone knows and looks at me like I’m a tridecagon, cursed with thirteen sides.
(Used by permission of Jesi Kim)