an acre behind and in front
that Daddy taught me to drive on the John Deere.
We rung-round the fat bottom branches,
heads avoiding headaches.
The rails lay two large leaps from the chain link,
beyond the sticky Pines;
lay pennies out—kinked keepsakes,
next to a week-old possum ribcage.
I grew up black-footed; trampoline tinged toes—
Blackfoot Indian, like Paw, except self-made.
Summer screened porch nights and tales
of the Jabberwocky slide me under the sheets,
too scared to sleep,
and the Cicada’s screaming lullabies.
I grew up blanketed by beads,
swallowed by flaking chains
of plastic jewelry that rained
off street parade floats.
That year Chris got ashes in his eye
and Mama couldn’t get out of the crowd quick enough.
Daddy‘s shoulders like a pedestal
I’d never be able to stand on any other time;
fingers spread to ring them, drape them
like medals around my neck.
I grew up saving crawfish
from Styrofoam cases, running
them to a dry ditch, thinking they were free.
I remember the spices and screams
of those that didn’t make it.
Sneaking thirds of the King Cake sure I’d find the baby first.
Johnny-Lynn soaking me in OFF!
Nona painting me into a fairy.
The powdered beignets so light and sweet in my hands.
Look for “Abita Springs” in Synaesthesia Magazine‘s forthcoming ‘Cities’ issue.