A child of Houston, Cairo, and Caracas, a mother of three in Bolivia, Emily Bludworth de Barrios comes at her work from all directions at once, with a frenzied takedown of parental angst, violence against women, existential hopelessness, and a world in conflict. Her work has appeared in Oxford Poetry, The Poetry Review, and The Cincinnati Review, and this, her second book, won the Felix Pollak Prize. The following poem first appeared in her chapbook Women, Money, Children, Ghosts, published by Sixth Finch.
WHEN I WAS 13 THERE WAS A GIRL I KNEW
When I was 13 there was a girl I knew and an awful thing had been done to her
For three weeks the whole school stopped
One of my teachers wrote a poem about it and read it to our class
The feeling of the poem did not match the horrible thing that had happened
The poem was like an artificial flower in a vase
It gave you that feeling
Which is not to say the teacher was not sincere
But the feeling of the poem did not match the holiness, or the sanctity, or the
sadness, or grief, of what had been done
There was a space around what had happened, filled with water, density, or void
You couldn’t get near it
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.