Runaway

Ran away negro
woman Mary, 26
ordinary, lost front
teeth;
speaks French and English;
has child six months old
with her.
intimate with negro William,
both have long
time relations with negro fishermen at the
Bayou. reward of Twenty Dollars
bring her back.

Dear former self,

If you just tweak a few things back

there in 1966, life between

here and there will run much

more smoothly.

There will be less

to regret. Then again,

if you change one thing,

everything will be

changed.

Sunday Morning

I poured a moonbeam from

my canteen into the

Sunday

morning fog.

The Damn fir sat on the

dock telling a

concrete

shelf to hush.

 

 

My Mother

My mother didn’t leave her voice.

She died young and took it

with her.  But

sometimes I hear her

laugh.

 

No title

Days we live with

sunshine, heat and

biting bugs.

 

Evenings bring

sunset, rain and

flickering fireflies.

 

Summer time in Georgia.

Sparks

From the ruined house at the end of the dirt road,

he came out of the dark to our campfire. We roasted

marshmellows, pulling the tender brown

from the soft white center.

Colors exploded, showering sparks

down over the lake. That

fourth of July he lived in the fortress,

we  watched fireworks from my father’s

high rise on the river.

The sepia photograph of the woman in gauzy,

off the shoulder evening wear, lying in the alley,

wet in the melting March snow. Two

houses and the church burned to the ground

that year. Nothing left but ashes.

Sandy colored, he came

like some lost ancestor

out of the dark. Sparks flying

from the fire.

Locked Out

It was a hot Georgia summer day. As

my husband drove off, we hollered

and yelled trying to get his attention. To

no avail, he disappeared over the hill.

My granddaughter and I were

barefooted, our cell phones

inside, it would be evening before

he returned.

We drank from the hose and sat

on orange buckets and a pile of bricks.

Considered walking to a neighbor’s and

using their phone to call for help.

But the asphalt was burning up, the

neighbors were still strangers, we knew

nobody’s numbers.

Being eaten alive by mosquitoes, we

soaked our feet in

orange buckets.

When it started to rain, we

stood under the roof overhang.

Such relief when Ayanna came

home early and saved

us.

The Trip

We rode the motorcycle double

through

the rain. As it changed

to snow, we decided to

turn back. The road was slick and

there was so

far to go.

At her house we stopped.

She invited us

in to wait out the storm,

to sleep there.

Lot’s of beds with lots

of old quilts, but the

bathrooms…

the bathrooms were all in

use.

 

 

 

 

Last Night

In the dark, warm

night, I watched one firefly,

high above the trees,

like the light of an

airplane.

 

 

Inside, Outside

Through the house, past dead ants,

dusty floors and bookcases overfull with books

and games and more dust.

I push the neglected can of prayer requests

in front of the door to hold it open.

The warm air outside makes the

house feel cool.

Stepping outside, I smell bacon.

The cicadas are singing. I walk through

an invisible thread of spider silk

strung across the drive.

On the cement, tiny ants are busy.

Behind the crack in the pavement, and

the poke bush, the hydrangea

has a pink flower.

Near the mailbox, I pick up a yellow leaf

and a small red one. I leave the pecans

lie. Next door the neighbor’s lawn is as

neatly groomed as mine is not.  English

ivy, elaeagnus and trees grow at

will over here.

A car goes by. Through

the newly trimmed bushes I see

my wild yard.