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).
ROY G BIV
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.