$3, $7, $5, Bluefield, WV
Weariness of Men
My grandmother said when she was young
The grass was so wild and high
You couldn’t see a man on horseback.
In the fields she made out
Dark and blown down from the weather
Like her husbands.
She remembers them in the dark,
Cursing the beasts,
And how they would leave the bed
In the morning,
The dead grass of their eyes
Stacked against her.
My father and I lie down together.
He is dead.
We look up at the stars, the steady sound
Of the wind turning the night like a ceiling fan.
This is our home.
I remember the work in him
Like bitterness in persimmons before a frost.
And I imagine the way he had fear,
The ground turning dark in a rain.
Now he gets up.
And I dream he looks down in my eyes
And watches me die.
after Jean Follain
In the evenings they listen to the same
tunes nobody could call happy
somebody turns up at the edge of town
the roses bloom
and an old dinner bell rings once more
under the thunder clouds
In front of the porch posts of the store
a man seated on a soda water case
turns around and spits and says
in his new set of clothes
holding up his hands
as long as I live nobody
touches my dogs my friends