Olive Wood Bowl by Penelope Schott


“Olive Wood Bowl” by Penelope Schott


I hadn’t understood my breath
until that long ago Friday night you tried

to choke me,

until tremulous lungs, wanting the whole sky,
burned in my chest.

Whatever you tried to strangle past shaping
into words will still be true. Since that night

I keep a small olive wood bowl containing
all the air in the world. The bowl began

as an ancient tree in a white landscape
where silver roots slithered under cliffs,

and its wood, polished by hands, is smooth
as the healed skin at the base of my throat.

Back when you did it, I was so ashamed
of my fear, my need to breathe, my silence,

that years later, I am still collecting my words
like clean rainwater into this bowl.


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Penelope Schott Artist Statement: Even before I knew how to write or read I always thought in poetry. I often write it down. Poetry is my addiction and life-saving art. As a creative woman, my deepest need is a safe place to be and a safe place to write

Author: A Room of Her Own

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