When momma died
They all came and asked
“What are ya gonna do with them?”
And you responded
“Tie 'em in a sack and throw 'em in the river”
And the looks of horror on their faces
Sparked a Parish wide baking fest
And their husbands came laden with
Cakes and pies and apologies and
All of the other stuff that people don’t need when they’ve lost someone.
They all said it,
Men can’t raise children.
When momma died
Packed all of my things
Got in the car
Drove for three days
Until I was good and gone.
Just like I always said I would.
I watched your descent
from across the sheets.
And I dreamt so lovingly
When I awoke you were gone.
I kiss the ground,
Listen to the dirt.
Ear pressed against,
Tell me, does it hurt?
“He ain’t trailer trash”
“He is too”
“Living in a trailer don’t make you trailer trash”
“He’s got a security system in his trailer”
“Only cause the meth heads kept breaking in”
“He has three taxidermic heads hanging on the wall”
“You wouldn’t think that was trashy if it were in a real house”
“He ain’t in a real house, he’s in a trailer, and the trailer only has a single wheel and the rest is propped up on cinderblocks, and on Sundays he shoots his pistol from the front step into the pasture and prays to God he hits one of those cowbirds, and he calls it Church.”
“Well…. we all worship in our own ways.”
The rats moved in.
They scurried across the floor
Climbed up the curtains
Nested in the mattresses
Feasted through the cabinets
Threw a party rejoicing our flight for refuge.
And then came the snakes
Delighted to find the
Feast induced stupor of
And then they feasted.
The hardest part of leaving
Is packing your bags,
Getting in the truck,
And backing out
Of the driveway.
But once you hear gravel flying and home is
Just a silhouette in the rearview mirror
It gets a whole lot easier.
All you’ve got to do is put a thousand miles
And a couple of years
Between you and whatever you’re running from
And then staying gone is as easy as waking up every morning,
Putting your boots on,
And going to work.
It’s got some grit,
And because of that I’ve got grit too
and it goes deep.
Remember when we rode around
On bicycles that could fly
And the sound of gravel under the wheels of a
Meant that we were almost home.
And we caught rabbits in five gallon buckets
When faces rubbed with the blood of a deer
We raced around a campfire
I slept under the clouds
We leapt across hay bales
And sprinted down the turn row, last one to
Reach the cotton is a rotten egg
First one has to smell it
Better wake up before the
Hoot owls get you.
And we fell asleep to the man in the moon
Peeking out the limbs of an old oak tree.
Remember when we would race to the cow lot
Draped with Spanish moss
Watch out for snakes
My father is a feminist
I am a wanderer.
I got that from him.
My sister is
She got that from him too.
He raised us with his own two hands.
Planted us in the ground
Watered us real good.
Told us to grow
And sure enough