“Soundtrack for Growing Up” by Rebecca Hart Olander

“Soundtrack for Growing Up” by Rebecca Hart Olander

A one-winged dove ooh, ooing as dusk settled
and the car barreled toward home. The plea
of I don’t wanna do your dirty work twisting
around the pipes below a sink full of dishes
piled high. The way every girl named Alison
you met made you think of wedding cake
and licked fingers, made you wonder about
arrows, and whether true love was bound to
come with a quiver of pain. Early mornings
when the sun shone, the sky a knotted skein
of clouds amidst the blue. Raised on radio
and celluloid heroes, it’s hard to calculate
the cost of harm vs. good. The cemetry gates,
how love will tear us apart, how boys don’t cry.


Rebecca Hart Olander holds an MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her poetry has appeared recently in Ilanot Review, Mom Egg Review, Plath Poetry Project, Radar Poetry, Virga Magazine, and Yemassee Journal, among others, and her critical work has been published in Rain Taxi Review of BooksSolstice Literary Magazine, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Collaborative work made with Elizabeth Paul is forthcoming in Duende and They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing (Black Lawrence Press). She was the winner of the Women’s National Book Association poetry contest and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Rebecca lives in Western Massachusetts where she teaches writing at Westfield State University and is the editor/director of Perugia Press. You can find her at rebeccahartolander.com.