Poetry: Flying Curtains by Rita Anderson
Rita Anderson has an MFA Creative Writing and an MA Playwriting. A published and award-winning playwright and poet, Rita went on scholarship to The O’Neill (CF 2012). Her play, Frantic is the Carousel, was the 2013 National Partners American Theatre nominee, when she won the Kennedy Center’s Ken Ludwig Playwriting Award for “best body of work.” She’s had nineteen productions (to include NYC, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Detroit, Cincinnati—and in London, England and Paris, France). Early Liberty, internationally published at Off the Wall Plays, is on their “Best Selling Plays” list. She was appointed to ITN Playwrights Advisory Panel, and three one-acts are available at indie Theater Now, but the highlight of her emerging career so far was sitting on a play-writing panel with Christopher Durang.
Rita was poetry editor of the literary journal at University of New Orleans, and her debut chapbook, The Entropy of Rocketman, is published with Finishing Line Press (2016). Rita won the Houston Poetry Festival, the Gerreighty Prize, the Robert F. Gibbons Poetry Award, the Cheyney Award, and an award from the Academy of American Poets. Her poems have been published in Spoon River Poetry Review, EVENT Magazine (British Columbia), Ellipsis, The Longleaf Pine (Midwood Press), DLC Literary Journal, Cahoodaloodaling, The Blueshift Journal, Blotterature, Words Work, Transcendence, PHIction, Persona (50th Anniversary Edition), The Artful Mind, Di-Verse-City: An Austin Poetry Anthology, Inflight Magazine (Paper Plane Pilots Publishing), The Stardust Gazette, METAPHOR magazine, and Explorations (University of Alaska Press). Contact Rita at www.rita-anderson.com.
Camouflaged in the uneven paint on our bedroom wall, alert rabbit sniffed out trouble. Get to sleep,
he’d say from the door, a large bear on hindlegs, his open belt a dingy tail.
My sister and I waited for night when silence settled over the house like a sheet of dirt, hushing the restless
spirit of our family. We dreamed of how far away we would fly, the window in our room our unlikely route out.
Sometimes, on long summer nights when the air was too thick for sleep, we watched at the open window the passing headlights chase
the curtain’s shadow across the walls, wondering what those traveling families were like: how soft were her hands, how deep was his voice.
The next breeze that blows through is mine, my sister says. It is the train I’ve stowed away on. . . I listen, magnifying
each detail—night like a black cape, the well-oiled tracks—as if my attention were a push to ease her escape.
As the wind gains speed, kicking up the smell of the tar road out front, from the top bunk
her hand would fall and I’d clasp it, whispering, Let’s go!
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