The Stars Are All Dead and Have Fallen

by on May 18, 2017

And with help we loaded the pickup
with all the other things that no longer functioned.

Washing machine that shook itself to death.
Ancient computer, dirty face like city ice.
One stained mattress, upon which no children
were conceived. And so forth. Drove

somewhere. Nothing grew there but hills
someone had burned with cigarettes.

Thorns survived. And kudzu. There was a ditch
where an old Chevrolet dammed the runoff
and buried itself in red mud. There we did
our unloading. Appliances rolled downhill

like snake eyes. Newspaper bundles and slick
magazines fell like bad cards. Sliding down,
the mattress ripped some kudzu cover away,
exposed layers of garbage. Households like ours.

A daughter’s bicycle with glossy mylar streamers
looked to have been almost new, but vines
threaded its spokes and frame,
stitched it to the earth like Frida Kahlo.

We have returned our portion.


Barbara Young hasn’t been writing much this year. East Nashville got too popular, so she and Jim packed up the cats and moved out to White Bluff. A grocery, two hardware stores, and a bakery that only makes doughnuts. Change is interesting. Because writing prompts can be easier than poems, Barbara sometimes becomes “Miz Quickly.”

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