“(Sub)Division” by Christine Crockett

Aerial by Scott Wiggerman, a collage of colorful shapes possibly representing an aerial view of a suburban subdivision

Image: “Aerial II” by Scott Wiggerman. “(Sub)Division” was written by Christine Crockett for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, November 2023, and selected as the Editor’s Choice. (PDF / JPG)


Christine Crockett


On a blueprint stark
as a lunar footprint,
my father signed up
for its perfect math:
plots of earth wedged
into open arcs,
arenas unmarred
yet by tragedy.
Even then, I moved
in exponentials. Things
blurred or bent in me,
wrecked the lines,
found romance in spandrels
where misfits played,
the spillover edges
of trapped space.
Broken is better,
inevitable as cells
that spilt, subdivide,
thin until frayed
tissues collapse
and seepage sets in,
the way children leave
on well-lit roads
out of the still dance
of perfect math,
those centers that
will not hold.

from Ekphrastic Challenge
November 2023, Editor’s Choice


Comment from the series editor, Megan O’Reilly: “Scott Wiggerman’s image is so thoughtfully abstract, it sparks a lot of imagination, and I appreciated how poet Christine Crockett took that imaginativeness in multiple directions. The image invokes ‘a lunar footprint,’ ‘cells / That split, subdivide,’ and, most profound, ‘the way children leave/on well-lit roads.’ Even when not directly describing it, Crockett’s sharp writing reflects the subversively geometric tone of Wiggerman’s piece: ‘I moved in exponentials,’ she writes, ‘Things / Blurred or bent in me.’ Exquisitely epitomized in the last couplet is what I interpret as a main theme of both poem and image: the dance between chaos and order.”

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