Lectionary by Ainsley Kelly
Associate poetry editor Sara Ryan on today's bonus poem: In “Lectionary,” Ainsley Kelly scaffolds language upon color, upon pollen, upon cannons. It reads like scripture, or a praise song to children and tactile images of hope. It is a beautiful, rhythmic, tantalizing piece that pulls the reader further and further in.
It was the season of boom. We carried cannons with us everywhere. The cannons were heavy and cold. We brought them to school and set them beside our desks. We took them to the grocery store and wheeled them around in our baskets. We took them to church and held hands around them in the pews.
It was the season of bloom. We streaked every door lintel with pollen. The buds that fell without opening were buried or burned. All the children were named after flowers.
It was the season of blue. We stood in long lines to purchase blue shoes. Looked at ourselves in small slanted mirrors. Tossed water balloons to win ribbons. We slept in fish tanks. We unraveled ribbons of sky.
It was the season of boon. We scattered sequins in fountains. We gave each other nickels on the train. We gathered leaves from the street. We saved up our beetles to buy feathers. We held out our hats to the moon.
It was the season of soon. We saw parking structures painted on construction site fences. We timed exercises and eggs. The hourglasses filled with sunflower seeds. We left all our cannons in a circle in the park and went into our houses to wait for bells.
Ainsley Kelly is a second-year poet in the University of Washington’s MFA Program where she serves as the Poetry Editor of the Seattle Review and the Coordinating Manager of UW’s monthly Castalia Reading Series held at Hugo House. She received her BA in English from Santa Clara University. Ainsley is a recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Shipsey Poetry Prize, and an Eleanor B. North Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Fourteen Hills, Quiddity, The Quotable, and The Santa Clara Review. She was born in San Diego and now lives and writes in Seattle.