Sunday, November 03, 2013

INTO YOUR LIGHT, A chapbook about raising teens, by Julianne Palumbo

Review of INTO YOUR LIGHT, A chapbook about raising teens, by Julianne Palumbo, Flutter Press,, 41 pages, 2013

By Barbara Bialick

In this perfect-bound chapbook, a mother relates how she has to step back and let her teens have their own personal light and identity. It’s as if she has to start a whole new chapter in the raising of these people formerly known as children.

A very good poem in the book is called “Stuffing Bears”—where the author, working in a toy store, sells a stuffed bear and a giraffe to a man she fears is a predator. Then while driving down the highway past the store, she spots these same toys in a memorial to a dead child along the road:

I stare at the bear,
that big, blue bear.
I’d know that ugly thing anywhere,
on the side of the road
next to a giraffe,
next to a cross,
next to a sign
that says,
“We Miss You”

In “Skim Boarding”, she is learning when to speak to her teens and when to keep quiet:

The wave stalks.
Seagulls cry a warning.
Mother watches the water
Widen its mouth to swallow.
She wants to call out,

Like the boarder
determined to master
the elusive ebb and flow,
she is learning to speak
and when to be silent.

And in “Suddenly Conscious”

Through their eyes
she sees herself,
more Van Gogh than Mona Lisa…

Before turning to poetry, says the author in her biography, Juianne practiced employee benefits law.
She has had poems published in Ibbetson Street Press, YARN, The MacGuffin, The Listening Eye, and others. She also writes young adult novels and novels in verse. A resident of Rhode Island, she is raising three teenagers and coaching teens in writing.

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