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Manners Tilt Country

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.

Grandma Viska—

Emma, Mattie, & Queen Esther’s mother,

frocks pink & black bonnets,

pulls heat & poison from wounds.

Wonder why

she morning-rakes

the front yard

with cloth-tied brush brooms?

Viska Martin Edwards


from Sweetgum & LightningFind more by Rodney Terich Leonard at the library

Copyright © 2021 Rodney Terich Leonard
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Poems Rodney Terich Leonard

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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