Amy Pence


Flocking The Flannery


We’ve arrived             .  .  .  .        too late for Andalusia

peafowl huddle                             in their coop—

tail feathers                                 folded as if the sudden
collapse of grandeur                      were our mistake
We’ve come                                 for our Flannery—
carry her complete                        stories
tromp down                                 to Tobler Creek
Garbed in Southern                       Goth: knee-
socks pulled                                 high, bangs straight
But the O’Connor                          is locked
screen door                                 shut, rockers
stilled.                                        We’ve wandered far inside
the Flannery                                but cannot
find her—                                    red-faced Mary
head in a book                             wishing herself
twelve forever                             We  harbor
our grotesques                            fondle them
with relish,                                  our mothers               
like hers—                                   holding
the secret :                                our death—                   
she’ll betray                                once then twice
but never                                   to our bland faces
We are obtruded                          by the Flannery
redolent spread                           magnolias—
fossilized                                    our favors
fitful,  incomplete                        We hold out
our peagreenish handbags             die in obscurity
obscured by the Flannery              writing fiendishly
in death’s—                                spread tail feathers
full-blown fisted                          our fatalistic south.



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Artwork on this page:
Detail of Family secrets too heavy to fly
20 x 36" oil on wood, 2013
Irene Hardwicke Olivieri
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