By Bob Bradley



At the end,

Grandmother sat in the too-close parlor,

a hot house baking the odd, rare visitor.


Even the wrinkled photos winced in their frames,

spoiled and dingy behind the glass.


Nothing escaped the creep that gathered round her:

the wither of death, death the mother.



Black widow, one son-in-law spat out.

She killed her own. For true,


the tally ran two dead, at last count,

by their own hands. And two more

we'd like as not know as lush, so much each

would rather drink than breathe.


See her venom-stiffened finger pointing:

A copperhead caught her out once

while she chopped cotton.


Are you drunk--Wick!!

Her voice in the empty house evinced

the sound of shoe against bare shin,

and sharply struck.


Behind those dense-lenses,

her eyes roamed the peeling walls.


She picked at scabs and wheezed

on the naugahyde couch,

while light and shadow

mesmerized her last afternoons.





As for pity, I've seen

the remaining two of her issue

-- survivors, if you'd want to call them that-

break down drunk

and heave big-bellied sobs

of sentiment they sagged against,

overcome. The juice of choice

untied the knotted grief

of each one and,

like a mean little fist,

opened to loose a pale dry moth.


Their tears did flow.

To weep so, I guess, was sweet for them.

As for me, I remember the harpy bitch

who ordered that "nigger woman,"

and loud enough for all ears,

to take the drawers of photos,

letters, and post cards out to the front yard

and set them on fire.

As if the past and its memory

could be burned at the stake.


They're the worst, those Christian witches:

For the Christ himself,

hands and footprints bloodied,

they would not trouble themselves

a cup of vinegar.


She had her way.

The pile burned down to ash. Cinders.

Rendered smoke and shadows of smoke.

A ten-foot circle of charred grass.

But I remember her reign, her snake-bit digit shaking

a crooked shadow over a dead child's face.


As for the hold of her ghost, the terror

of her specter, I call her out if she takes issue

with any or all I utter.

She knows where to find me.

We'll have it out in the back yard

she burned--toe to toe--me

and that bewhiskered rictus.


I'll bring my wits--what's left of them.

My second? This birth I never asked for.


Let her come and bring her worst.

I'll be waiting on the charred grass.

Standing barefoot in memory's ashes.

Surrounded by that black circle of scorched earth.


Join leaders of the American Middle Eastern community to endorse

Donald J. Trump
for President of the United States

and spend an evening with his foreign policy advisors featuring
Dr. Walid Phares
and other surprise campaign guests.

Monday October 17th

Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20008

cocktails at 6pm - dinner at 7pm
Business casual attire

$150 per person / $1500 per table

Sponsored by the American Mideast Coalition for Trump

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