Committing him to the River

Nothing resembling a man

went into the water. 
But at least one of us

saw him,

floating down river.

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Sausage Gravy

God almighty

hides himself

within the mystic

pour of peppered sausage gravy

over hot buttermilk biscuits

I believe in the baptism.

 

This arcane art

this holy marriage

could have evolved

as did geometry,

astronomy,

or physics.

 

but indeed it held fast

just like Jesus

 

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Rats and Squirrels

The nightmare,

continued

even after the old man left.

 

my grandmother

burned down the farm

headed to the mountains

full of bad memories and liquor.

 

my father’s curse,

the inheritance;

a pile of debris

left now to rats and squirrels.

 

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Fifty three

Fifty three pennies

Every year

All the way back to ‘64

Every one

Laid out on a railroad track

All in order

Fifty three of them

 

Fifty three pennies

Laid to waste

I pick each up

In reverse order

From the shiniest

To the most worn

Fifty three of them

 

Fifty three pennies

Weighing down my pocket

 

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The Canine People

up late with all the canine people

all proper,

eating off plates and all.

 

bathed,

decorated,

and almost civilized.

 

no pleasantries

nor

true engagement.

 

just bark

and growl

and the bearing of teeth.

 

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Wreaths of Wild Flowers

Beyond the silence of

bark and scented leaves

torched

by proud invasion

 

Away from the living

spliced in darkness

the dead accept

their wreaths of wild flowers

 

A home,

amongst distorted legends

fading epitaphs and pictographs

 

Among thorns

condemned

they sing

songs of death

endlessly

through the seasons

 

It is hardly a solemn ending

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Stinging Nettles

this was Cherokee land

now it’s all water

 

grasses, saplings and

wild mustard

gone

 

a few

stinging nettles

prick the eye

 

sometimes

like weeds

we thrive

 

sometimes

we perish

 

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