The Hill

Image of a hill and the sky with little clouds.I never learned to flatter, to dove like a wisp of white grace, instead challenging boys to footraces and tackling them into grass stains, tumbling down the hill like green walnuts, fragrant and bitter. Eloquent slang eluded me, so when my brothers’ friends teased I made a hard fist and aimed for the weak bird between their legs. I was alligator, jaw and scales, and they were white- bellied fish, polishing my incisors. If I wanted, I could be the hero. If not, there was always the hill breaking our fall, my bruised shins, a smudge of mud across my shoulder.


Hannah Marshall lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and works at the library. Her poetry appears in The Best American Poetry, New Ohio Review, and elsewhere.

Photo Credit: solarisgirl

4 Responses to “The Hill”

  1. Tu says:

    I couldn’t understand this sentence: “to dove like a wisp of white grace,”, what does that mean?

    • John says:

      “dove” suggests dive, doesn’t it?
      And the wisp of white grace a tendril of moving cloud?
      And “dove” the term dove-tail or fitting in? I’m sure you could find other suggestion on your own if you decided to feel rather than perfectly understand or nail down as if you were reading directions on a cardboard box?

    • P. says:

      I appreciate your engaging. “Dove” makes me think of the white bird that signified the Holy Spirit. Grace. And a wisp of cloud. For me, all of these things interlaced.

  2. Bronwen Griffiths says:

    Absolutely loved this tiny story. Cheered me up too!

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