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Linda Parsons

Linda Parsons is the poetry editor for Madville Publishing and reviews editor for Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel. She coordinates WordStream, WDVX-FM’s weekly reading/performance series, with Stellasue Lee, and is copy editor for Chapter 16, the literary website of Humanities Tennessee. Widely published, her fifth poetry collection is Candescent (Iris Press, 2019).


My assignment in sixth grade
was to harness light. I couldn’t have
known I too was electromagnetic,

newly a daughter in my father’s
house, unbraided from a mother I left
two hundred miles away. I was

a wavelength invisible to the human eye,
rainbow eclipsed by my mother’s
trials and errors. The eye travels

only so far on the spectrum:

Impatient with my awkward physics,
my father took over the science project,
just as he had taken me in, mile markers

zipping through the night. I was in
the hands of a maker, not Newton but
Phoebus Apollo bringing the day

in his fiery chariot: a box of miter
joints, a bulb, a cone honed to perfection.
I could only watch the experiment

over his shoulder, my prismatic past
bent to separation, saying, in the end,
it was solely my creation.
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