waitress poems

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

TRURO, age 8

That summer I learned to like
buttered clams with tough necks
& sand in their bellies.
Sandbars were everywhere,
uninhabited towns rising out of the sea
where my breath was
the native language,
waves & wind its translators.
On the beach
my mother slept in a backless
bathing suit.
Each day her laughter
like her skin,
grew more golden.
Sometimes, drunk on rye whiskey,
my father would steal a lobster
from a fisherman's trap.
Angry & red, those lobsters still
surface in my memory,
floating in the safe confines
of the bathtub
where I first discovered them.

How soon it all was over &
we had to go back
to our factory town--the smoke
a curling lobster claw
over our huose.
I went to school;
my mother sliped back
into her white body,
& my father took a second job
at the egg auction.
It was his job to take the ax
to chickens with soft
white feathers & hard eyes.

Chickens, chickens!
I remember you headless,
never picking up your cue
to lie down & play dead--
but running, running
toward me--your life
a red geyser
melting down
th clear colors of summer.

first appeared in Thirteenth Moon


Post a Comment

<< Home

Who Links Here