My Minnesota Boyhood
My Minnesota Boyhood
Cheryl A. Rice
You and your father and Karen Carpenter
drive slowly out onto the lake
as far as it’s safe, then farther,
windows rolled down, doors unlocked.
You or your father’s thin body,
leashed to a rope for safety,
eases across the surface,
cigarettes sending up signals
to the other men: it’s safe, it’s safe,
then farther still.
You haven’t told me yet about the
hairline cracks in your solid Minnesota,
Midwestern fields in plaids of green and brown,
or how to cut a hole through a foot of ice
to get to the real water,
the place the fish don’t realize
it’s Christmas again,
just when they think it’s safe.
Those of us who have heard many (most?) of these poems read at poetry venues up & down the Hudson Valley know how captivating, like a Diva, Cheryl Rice's performance can be. On page these meditative, narrative, provocative poems reveal the true wizardry of her literary art. We're not in Minnesota anymore, if we ever were. —Dan Wilcox, Publisher. A.P.D. Press
Cheryl A. Rice uses the premise of her Minnesota Boyhood to engage and enchant readers with her sure-footed poems about family, memory, longing and dislocation. Be prepared to dip a line into an icy lake or walk alone under the moon as Rice delivers convincing landscapes of fields and fathers, boats, hard freezes, new fruit, and lots of fish, to bring us to the shoreline of our own sense of terrain, and the sticky bonds of love and family. —Mary Greene Director, founder Upper Delaware Writers Collective
In these few dramatic, well-wrought poems, Cheryl A. Rice poses this startling premise: better to remember her "Minnesota Boyhood," "having had neither/ a boyhood nor a Minnesota" than her own Long Island "suburban source." Further, she invites the reader to "reimagine your childhood as mine..." Some tall order! But, with a novelist's skill, she carves ice, water, and fish into Moby Dick-like metaphor that sinks deep and stays; and she carries it all off with great poetic craft and elegant candor. —Donald Lev, Publisher. Home Planet News