2020
POETRY OPEN
Honorable Mention
$25 Award

POWERFUL FORCES

by Kim Farrar

I am watching my autistic daughter stand at the ocean’s edge.

I imagine that, for her, words are sound clusters in primary colors.

But today, I forget about trying to extract language,
trying to hear her voice. The ocean fills the space
where the trying goes.

The sky is layers of grey and darker grey,
yet the entire scene glows, her hair gold
not golden, her green shirt neon.

Such powerful forces—light, motion, moon-pull—
are no match for her stillness.

I stand far enough behind to not reach for her elbow.

She listens to the rhythms, absorbs the mist through her skin as another wave reaches critical momentum, curls into itself.

All day we hallucinate dolphins in the ocean’s shimmy.

The horizon makes me feel like I’m a ghost in her future.

All I can think is—Lord, look how beautiful she is. Lord,
let others love how she lifts her face to the wind.

______________________________

Kim Farrar is the author of two chapbooks published by Finishing Line Press: The Familiar and The Brief Clear. Her work has recently been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, and New Ohio Review. Her essays have been published in Illness & Grace, Voices of Autism, and Reflections. Her flash fiction was published in 2017 by Flash Fiction Magazine (online) and she received an honorable mention in Glimmer Train’s short fiction contest 2018. She was a finalist in the New Women’s Voices competition 2019. In 2010 she received an Allen Ginsberg award. She teaches at LaGuardia Community College and lives in Astoria, New York.