Sometimes the past seems so close, you think you can reach out and grasp it once more.
Kimberly Bolton's "Folk" walks backward into the past, taking the reader gently by the hand and whispering, "Here, let me show you." Her poetry then opens a landscape of recollections and a world not so distant as to be unrecognizable but far enough in the past to have a dream-like quality. The rich, tantalizingly familiar history of an era receding into memories is drawn out and displayed like family gems through the use of conversational poems.
"He didn't go to church with us that day."
"She recalled after all these years,
white wisps of hair floating around a
as the old rocker, the one she bought
with a brood of turkeys she sold
swayed back and forth."
Bolton's poems roam through stories that will stir up the reminiscences of grandmothers and great-grandmothers. The slim volume of poetry is titled "Folk," but it could be called "Family" because the journey through her anecdotal poems speaks to a history we all have roots in.
Kimberly Bolton is a local Missouri resident. Reading her poetry is delightfully fresh and new, and yet, at the same time, holds the comfort of settling down among a group of older relatives at a family reunion, ready to hear them celebrate the past through recollection and nostalgia. The pain of hard times and loss is abundant while remembering a time that was difficult for almost everyone, but the beauty shines through, and the poetry of "Folk" warms the heart.
As you read, there will be moments when you pause and say to yourself, "Oh, yes, I remember "
Maria Luebbering is a children's assistant at Missouri River Regional Library.