by Marianne Worthington

Storm clouds and lashing rain follow
me out of the harbor city along
with the memory of the mountain poet
who claimed her Granny Fanny lived
such old ways it was as if she had set
her thorn broom handle into the world’s
axis and brought it to a grinding halt.
Still, the Ohio River curls on as I hit
the highway toward home. The road
is a smoldering ribbon past the oil
refineries in Ashland. The green
and lavender hills smear in the opening
up ahead as the sun bursts like a marvel
and draws back the angry curtain
of clouds revealing a colony of ebony
birds by the roadside. Closer now,
their feathers are shimmering charms,
their shoulders drooping. I see the stiff
legs of the dead thing they are encircling.
Turkey buzzards, dropping from the sky,
joining the one already atop the dead,
the one glutting from the side,
the others just waiting their turn.

(Note: The italicized portion of the poem is from Louise McNeill's memoir, The Milkweed Ladies.) 

Next Page

Return to Contents

Make a free website with Yola