These two poems by Rebecca Cohen examine memory, transition, and the shift from girlhood to womanhood…
by: Rebecca Cohen
When I dream of you young Today I woke thinking of you as you are and as you have never been: sundressed in a field, the yellow of spring in your step – and, pressed against the balls of your feet, the roots of every fledgling thing. I exhaled the last wisp of sleep, opened my eyes to rumpled sheets, to our bedside clock set five minutes behind the rest of the city. Your arms were cradled between us, ambered, the press of age on the backs of your hands. Your feet have never been warm. Your mouth has never opened to change. When I dream of you young, it is only a desire to know a version of you that came before. When I dream of you old it is only an overabundance of hope.
planted we knelt by the porch in early June, the soil damp and cool as the skin of a bog, as I carved shallow holes in the earth, my mother in white squinting up, the seeds cupped in her hands then cupped in mine then scattered like grounds of peppercorn pressed gently into the spaces between the soil: my marigolds birthed in the pink of the sun, my seedlings light as a mayfly’s wing, as hope, resurrected, at dawn
Rebecca Cohen is an American writer residing in London who received her Master’s in poetry from Royal Holloway, University of London. She has been writing poetry for over a decade, and in 2017, she won a college poetry prize awarded by the Academy of American Poets for her poem ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’.