Monday, August 17, 2015

Kelley White- Three Poems

Workshopping a Poem in the Woods
float on sound
squirrel squawk
crow scold
chika dee dee dees
cat’s bell
mosquito drone
can that be traffic
so faraway
that the wind forgets us?
mourning doves
so much more interesting
than any of us
than any of our words
Why was Autumn born in December?
and her sister June was born in May? What
was their mother trying to remember?
Single? Married? Or was she called slut?
(I must not say that about another
woman. Forgive me sisters, we know she
was forced. She lived a life without choices.)
Did she want to repay her own mother
for naming her April? (even though we
celebrate her birthday, raise our voices
on the fourth of July?) We know her whole
family can’t count, can’t add, can’t even read
a calendar. We must bless them, poor souls.
We’re family, named Winter all year, it’s said.

We’ll Burn that Bridge when we Come to It
                        “it made for a long and lonely life, this business of getting things right”
Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer
Getting you on the phone is harder than getting naked pictures of the pope.
But I like the pointy hat. The smoke rising in the background, scent
of marshmallows fallen in the fire, the crispy black edges,
brown perfection, gooey white hearts. Music
on the tongue. Singing sugar. Butter talking
flimsy and cheap. If you go down to Henry’s farm
you better bring your chainsaw
and some grease. I hear Sam felled some trees there
‘cept a couple done fell and broke
his knees. A fine Buttercup Mountain after
noon. Only he held onto his chainsaw. You can leave
yours home. Lessen you got two
hands. You do. You know he couldn’t pour piss out of a boot
if the instructions was written on the heel. Running that tractor motor
when he’s calling for help. Wicked loud.
You know Geraldine gots a Corvette? Say its
stripped right now, but it’s gonna be pearl white, charcoal
rally stripe with lavender shadowing. She been
collecting parts right along, lost sleep
over more’n one auction. Wicked cheap.
Hey! Remember Lolly, Dolly, and Molly, the Episcopalian hootchie-
kootchie girls? On your mother’s side? Yeah, flimsy
and cheap. No, not those. The red heads. With the big
feet. Oh, the Loneliness of Dogs! And their little red
hats. A Celebration of Sausage Gravy!
I’m one of the Cole girls. I’ll learn the lingo.
I’m wear the red dress of progress and humility.
I’ll clear the bucket. But honey, don’t tell Bill, Buck, and Cash
Money: when I walked through the forest of life
I picked up a bent twig.

a bio note: Kelley White would really like to jump into Lake Winnipesaukee today to escape several kinds of heat.

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