Looking back,

I’ve caught her in mid-air,

the girl in this picture. What’s left

of summer— loose gold

in an upsurge of hair,

a scalp-bounced, tree-ward, throng drawn

all the way from her soles

against the snap-back, shallow give

of backyard earth, stretched

spring to spring, then trampoline-ing

up and out. Her mouth, a tunnel—

mid-word gone dark, bliss at the corner

of her lips, just an upswing, an almost

exhale. One eye hidden in the reverb

of tangled bangs, the other caught

like the wing-arc of a coasting bird;

a caged gaze, a defiance, a dare.

Kinetic. No netting necessary.

Laura Sobbott Ross has worked as a teacher and a writing coach for Lake County Schools and was recently named as Lake County’s first poet laureate. Her poetry appears in many journals, including Blackbird, Florida Review, and 32 Poems. She was a finalist for the Art & Letters Poetry Prize and won the Southern Humanities Auburn Witness Poetry Prize. Her poetry chapbooks are A Tiny Hunger and My Mississippi. A third book, The Graffiti of Pompeii, was released in December.

Daughter at Eighteen
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