In this house manners tilt country:
fig preserves faint on biscuits,
stop looking down my throat,
a child’s chair clear of grown-talk.
The patterns of two left feet,
six & seven-year hands,
cousins in the settled dust.
Black ants circle American
sweetgum & lightning,
plural of tock, loses
its temper & gongs
the jug’s metal dipper.
Emma, Mattie, & Queen Esther’s mother,
frocks pink & black bonnets,
pulls heat & poison from wounds.
the front yard
with cloth-tied brush brooms?
Viska Martin Edwards
Copyright © 2021 Rodney Terich Leonard
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.