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Friday, March 2, 2018

The Reckoning

In the pictures 
we seldom smiled.

Stubborn children 
forced to pause
and pose before the hearth 
in the cabin 
in the woods
in the childhood
in the life
he'd built 
in the 
happy time.

He pulls the tattered box
From under the bed,
studies each fading moment 
for clues.

The lamp sheds no new light
On the mystery of us. 

The smell of dust, 
the screen door’s slam,
the island in the pond
saddles in the shed,
the boat, the chill,
the sweat, the water,
the shadow and the light
the silence of a Sunday
night waiting 
while he locked the gate.

Turned the key 
On another memory.

The sandbar, 
Alligator gar and
Busch beer in a pull-tab can.
Dinosaurs, all gone
like the sound of a horn on a barge,
first large then drifting away.

He puts the pictures back,
Hopes the phone won’t ring,
bringing something new 
to grieve.
Lying back, he sighs,
Closes his eyes and waits
for the reckoning

~ March 3, 2010

Monday, February 26, 2018

Woodville Wildlife Festival

Woodville Courthouse

All the artists set up
around the courthouse square
beneath the oaks,
the resurrection fern
swollen and green with last night's rain.

The morning misty and damp
and strewn with color,
the smell of barbeque mingles with
hay. A skinny Catahoula hangs
around the cooking trailers,
hoping for a handout.

I buy pulled-pork sandwiches for
two -- one for the dog, one for me.
I watch her bolt it down as
a friendly cattle farmer stops
to tell me he'd bought her a hot dog
a few minutes before.

Camouflage is definitely in
at the Deer and Wildlife festival.
Don't be caught dead without it.

Didn't know what to expect,
but the dead moose being
draped over a form for mounting,
his lips hanging loosely off the side,
is a shock.

The air is filled with the sounds
of turkeys and ducks, made with
wooden calls by craftsmen
next to artists painting
things from life.

And the people....
The obese Black woman
with a blooming onion
the size of a football on
a plate, all for her.

The little girl in cowboy boots
and shorts, skinny legs so cute
it breaks your heart,

just because.
She has a puppy on a leash.
tied in her hair,
her face painted like a cat.

The baby in the stroller,
leaning in to snag
whatever is in reach.

The friends sitting on the
corner, the same conversation
they've been having for
40 years.

Doctors, bums, wives, bankers,
lawyers, maids, babysitters, boyfriends,
girlfriends, children, vendors
all in motion as the band
plays the 70s greatest hits,
going round and round
and round.

A wonderful sound.

~ Elodie  Pritchartt