Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Crybaby Bridge

I had scarcely made it home, wet with rain,
shivering, cold,
when my lover's longed for steps
creaked across the porch.
Hurriedly, I dried my eyes,
smoothed my hair, grabbed the wine;
then, took a breath and took my time
strolling to the door.

I'd met him not that long ago,
but it was before I'd begun to show,
and his travels quickly took him
safely far away.
So, he never saw the belly.
I never felt the need to tell him
that another man had had me
and had me in the family way.

He's a gentleman of quality;
wealthy and above me.
No trick with a mewling bastard
could ever wear his ring.
So I hid myself away
from prying eyes; no one could say
that I was anything less than a lady
or hint at impropriety.

I labored and delivered
all alone in early winter.
Christmas brought his letter;
he'd return on New Year's Eve.
Infant at my breast,
I counted myself blessed
that I'd get what I deserved - the best!
Just like I'd dreamed.

But what of my mistake?
I knew he'd never take
me and some farmboy's leavings
to his mansion on the hill.
Should I weep and beg forgiveness,
or, knowing there's no witness,
should I resolve this ugly business
in whatever way I will?

I waited for a wicked night
to keep all ears and eyes inside,
and when the countryside was quiet,
I took the ice kissed road
and made my way to rot wood bridge
just the other side of the ridge
took my sacrifice to the edge
and let it fall to the dark below.

Now, the future's at my door.
Everything I've waited for.
Nothing binds me anymore.
I slowly turn the knob.
But standing there instead
of my love is old Sheriff Ned;
hat pulled from his head, he says,
"I'm sorry for your loss.

Found your man's rig in a ditch
just t'other side of the ridge.
He was standing on the edge of the bridge;
I tried to talk him down.
But he didn't seem to hear me.
He kept hollering about a baby.
Then he jumped, and he went under
and, God bless the man, he drowned."

Of course, they ruled it suicide.
No one else heard a child that night,
and none was found though they dragged
the river edge to edge.
But late at night ever since
I went mad and he went in,
you can hear that brat wail witness
beneath Crybaby Bridge.

Process Note: Nearly every state has at least one Crybaby Bridge, it seems.  Versions vary, but the tale usually involves some sort of accident on the bridge that results in the death of a child.  The cries of the child can then be heard on dark, stormy nights, etc.  This is my take on the Crybaby story for Grapeling's prompt at Real Toads.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Sunrise sweetens the old ash tree;
brightens the blonde autumn fall of its leaves;
lightens the face living heartwood deep
till I swear I can hear a laugh

drifting past
four winds free.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Grain Of

A grain of need
in the oyster.

A grain, a seed
that germs
a sick soil weed.

A grain that bleeds
blue black
cloistered commerce

and feeds hunger
to swollen hunger
to harvest greed.

Written for Kerry's Mini-Challenge and submitted to Open Link Monday at Real Toads.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Greek Slave

Beauty makes me angry,
the way it crawls inside my head,
the way the things it leaves unsaid


stands like a summer full of shine,
all thighs and fine
sinuous lines;
a soft, curved belly,
fed well breasts -

There's no suggestion

of stink,
an itchy cunt,
a blunted scream,
or anything
to shame a deep pocket
or blink an appreciative eye.


is flawless,
and naked,

but not by choice,
so it's all right.

Process Note:  If you're the less cynical sort, you may believe the Greek Slave's back story.  Powers claimed her to be a Christian woman stripped to be sold as a slave by infidels.  Viewing her nudity is not scandalous or immoral because she is not naked by choice.  However, you may take a more jaundiced view and believe that Powers doth protest too much, that the Greek Slave was accompanied by such an extensively thought out tale only to provide moral cover for prudish Americans who wanted to look at a hot, naked woman without feeling any guilt, and that the notion that it was okay to look at her naked body because she wasn't naked by choice is deeply disturbing on more levels than can be named in one sitting.

I'll let you decide which side of the feminist bed I woke up on this morning.

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Climate Change

I thought the angst of my 30s was long gone,
and I was feeling mighty fine.
Looking at 50 and soaking up the sun,

there's a storm for every season.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Barricaded in a basement with beer belly guy
(he hopes "that the dark meat gets et first"),
two smokers, and seven
upstanding members
of Rev'rend Revelation's
End Times Church -

the zombies are bad,
but this is worse.

Holed up in a house with a half can of decaf
and a blonde with a yippy little Pom in her purse
that she baby talks
until each "puppy wuppy"
scrapes and scalpels the stretch of my nerves -

the zombies are bad,
but, damn!

This is worse.

For Izy's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Freak Flag

Got my freak flag wrapped
round me like a cloak
of visibility.
Can you see me?

I'm a mutiny
of sexes and shades

on the periphery,
but steady making my way

to that righteous place -
that sweet spot

in the center.