Friday, January 11, 2008

Bad Weather


The man has gone down into the root cellar.
A black animal stands near the fence line,
stares at the farmhouse, 
or seems to.

A deerfly lights on the woman’s arm.
She slaps it dead before it can bite then flicks
the smeared corpse into the grass.
The sky takes on a specific shade of green.

The woman takes a drag off her cigarette.
More flies loop around her,
their noise like tiny gasoline engines.
She can’t say if its hot or cold. It’s full,
is what it feels like. A caged thing
itching to bust out.

Maybe the hem of her dress gets caught
on the metal frame of the lawn chair-
it clatters over as she stands,
then spins and leaps away in a gust of wind
that sweeps in over the corn field.

One of the cellar doors lifts with a sigh then slams back.
The man is still down in there. The woman says this to herself.
The lawn chair collapses in the grass and the black
animal trots off toward the pole barn, distress in her low voice,
new moon flare of white in her eye.

The woman tastes metal and the tiny hairs
on her arms and legs stiffen. She wants to lie down
she feels so tired. Her tea-colored dress
is patterned with small red flowers
and the dress moves against her skin and against
the agitated hairs.

When she was a girl she had a fever dream where she flew
up over the farm house and her mother and father called out
to her but the wind carried their voices away.

She near died of the fever. She remembers how they set her
in a tub of ice water to keep her brain from cooking.

Behind her the house glows white and whiter.

If it would just rain she thinks.

If he would when I turn and look just
be standing there.



Blogger james said...

godamighty. it's just wondrous. the animal, the chair, the deerflies, the stubbornly lived life, and oh the lost, the wind-grieved ghost.

3:06 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Well you have made my day with this, friend.

It felt damn good to stretch out my writing bones and see what was going on with them. Thanks so much for the kind words.

I am going down to Los Angeles next week to do a bunch of crazy door-kicking and warrant serving in the gangland... I'll be thinking of you.

Maybe I'll get something tasty out of it...

3:30 PM  
Blogger james said...

ahh, man, you have all the luck! just be careful out there in lah lah land.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Radish King said...

the detail of the tea colored dress is superb and catapulted me into another life when i wore that dress.

2:33 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Knowing that you read this poem makes me all goofy-feeling.

Maybe I should wear the dress, too.



5:51 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home