10/22/15

My review of GREEN by Theresa Senato Edwards

GREEN focuses upon a grandson and his grandmother. The grandson never knew his grandfather but is often surrounded by the greenness of his grandmother, MM.

At times, earlier in his life, he finds her space old and empty or unsettling and creepy, too close for comfort to the indelicate mesh between life and death.

"Something green
attached to his arm,
sucked his skin raw
before he pulled it off,
flicked it into the thick smell of dead flowers."

Parts of MM's green are an extended metaphor for her own grief. Her smell was "a mix of dying lilacs left / in water too long".  She lived inside the same old space all her life.

Parts of MM's green are the efforts she spends planting more of the bright vibrant greens of her memories. Spending years gardening within her own space until "Mist rose a half inch / from her bedroom floor".

As the years went on, her grandson came to realize that the green would always haunt him until he finally settled down and eased into the blue.

Theresa Senato Edwards' writing style within this collection is a little more subtle than my usual writing style, but I truly enjoyed reading and mulling over her carefully constructed short lines within this lovingly rendered story poem, focusing on small but unique and impactful family memories, of old plants growing inside new eyes, of "blood spots seeping through / the indexes" of a youthful minds ever growing library. Parts of the stacks rising and evolving. Parts of the stacks worried about losing their vibrancy, growing stale, and falling down.

From flowered reflections to uncomfortable peripheries and particles, sinking in, sinking down, approaching death, MM "mounted the black of trampoline", the depths of her ongoing gardening, her "crocuses already into their / late-day stretch".

~Juliet Cook

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