High School Poetry: Grammar School

High School, our 20th issue, is on the way. To cel­e­brate, we’re pub­lish­ing a series of cre­ative writ­ing and illus­tra­tion that cel­e­brate those teenage times for what they were–glorious, hope­less, funny, mov­ing, or just plain embarrassing.

 The Surfer by Amelia Garvin

The Surfer by Amelia Garvin

Grammar School
By Megan Jones

Unlike the others,
my father loved
my first boyfriend like
a son; he
actually likes
“doing” “things,” he said. He
is “productive”; he
“wood,” wipes
cutting boards, “cuts”
at them.

Lately, reluctantly, poet
ically I too have asked: are fathers
the poets?

No, really: I imagine them moulding
our little pink
mouths at birth, mouths
later fluttering
wings, loose but
tied and tethered, always,
to some rotting
estuary of words.

Do normal women love
a man’s
as much as I

Do they archive
Facebook messages?

Do they sit cross-armed
like a
“bitch” at
“barbeques” just

Do they wrap and dispose of
like tampons
that is to say: shamefully?

You must be thinking: she has
wasted half
this “poem”

But it must be so
lonely to be a
displaced male word!
Pushed out by the woman’s
new lover
firm mouth
planting words like
hard seeds.

“The green room,”
is the thrashing “barrel”
of a wave, or
“to get pitted” means slipping
beneath the wave’s
inverted belly.

The slope
of the “break,”
is waves, curling
their white fists.

I think I would like
to write a poem
about that next.

I think I like fists now
more than I like “break.”

In winter, this boyfriend,
the one who surfs, shook
snow from his “deck.”
“Let’s get in
the green,” pulled my wet
suit down: a glimpse
of “chicken-skin” chest.

Back then I did not
“breast” or, worse,
“sex.” “Sex” was
is fragile, an unripe
banana of a word: stuck in the
cheek, fuzzed.

My life, a girl’s life
could’ve been all white knuckles
and sexy silence. Waves of blue.
Dark odorous

Instead it was/is the flat
pan held by one who is liked
who has become a real
“thing,” worth
“doing.” It’s “wood,” productively

A“long iron” at the driving range
is a long shaft, it was
my “athletic” boyfriend.

We liked “red” and “winner”
“gold” and “burn.”

Green fists of grass, clenched
white balls. What comes
next, over the rolling
hill? The fathers,
crouching with their daughters,
ducks with heads in the water
Get your bums right up, in the air!
I’ve never
known men in love
with waiting
for words to flow up, ideally:
yes, all, and.


Megan Jones lives and writes poems in Vancouver. She also splits her time between working at two different publishing firms: ZG Communications, a boutique marketing agency for authors, publishers and not-for-profits; and Page Two Strategies, an innovative literary agency where writers publish in a variety of ways. 

Amelia Garvin is a painter and illus­tra­tor who has exhibited her work in group shows across Van­cou­ver. She has a BFA from Emily Carr. See more work by Amelia here and here