Monday, February 2, 2009

Molly Rice, December 11, 2008

There are people who seem to do nothing and people who seem to do everything. As a lifelong educator I’ve noticed the ironic phenomenon that the students who seem to do the best on their schoolwork are the ones who are the busiest. One might expect that those doing less would have more time to study and would therefore do a better job, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
If one takes Molly Rice as an example, the same pattern seems to hold true in the adult world as well. Rice is a wonderful poet, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when describing her. She is also an award-winning theater instructor at St. Stephens High School in Hickory, award-winning director of the Tractor Shed Theater, Advisor for the “Corona” Yearbook, editor of St. Stephen’s literary magazine Indian Ink, freelance teacher of workshops in poetry and drama, and author of textbooks and children’s books.
Originally from Charlotte, Rice has held several residencies teaching poetry, theatre, and ESL in hundreds of schools, colleges, and organizations in NC, United Kingdom, Ireland, Russia, and Hungary. While living in Ireland for six years, she became a Pushkin Trust Artist for the Duchess of Abercorn. She has been published in various webzines and magazines including Fortnight Magazine and The Stinging Fly. Her first collection of poetry – Mill Hill – is forthcoming.
The poem below is a part of that manuscript and a part of the soon-to-be-released anthology Voices and Vision from the Hickory Women’s Resource Center (look for more information on that publication in a future “Musings”).

Home Front

My mother
Rips the glow
From the lightening bug
And paints our faces
With her florescent fingers.
We wait and watch
With round eyes,
E l e c t r i f i e d,
For our marks –
Cheeks puffed,
Breath bated.
Crickets’ cantos
Ricochet off trees.
Rough, yarn-worn fingers
Press my face.
One stripe
Down each cheek –
Warm gut glow.
All the mill hill houses
White and straight in a row
Within their walls
Wars are growing.
But tonight, with him not home,
We three little Indians
Escape a scalping
And dance in the dusk

1 comment:

  1. Did you hear that Molly's book is in pre-sale status?! Thought you might be interested...

    “I have breathed the dirt and lint/Like my parents did before me,” Molly Rice declares in these hard-eyed yet poignant poems of a mill village childhood. She has resurrected a lost world and vividly rendered it to her readers. Bravo!

    Ron Rash