I'm not done with Adam and his cast of characters yet, I was just travelling last night and didn't get my writing in. Here's something on the poetical front while I prep another entry.
Colbie Callait’s singing Mistletoe on the XM holiday station
While a little Mexican boy sits cross-legged
On his brown front yard
Looking down the street expectantly,
Searching traffic for a Greyhound sleigh
to bring Poppi home.
Two fat women,
One white with a bad dye job and a
Trailer-park linoleum kitchen hair style,
One black with a Santa hat and a wifebeater
Walk side by side along a busy street
Hauling their Wal-Mart groceries
And government cheese
To the efficiency apartment with the Toys-for-Tots gifts
And Methodist-donated decorations.
All the flowers in the cemetery
What happened to you,
Mr. Robert Keziah 1953-2009?
Was he the last
Is he forgotten
Does nobody care
Is everybody busy
Why not him?
I like to walk among my ghosts
To remember where I’m from.
Not just a river in Egypt
I never think of you anymore,
Until I see a picture of us some asshole put on Facebook,
Standing on the steps in front of my college dorm
Decked out in our finest freakwear to go out on the town,
Nineteen and smiling like we’ve got our whole lives in front of us,
Or something equally stupid.
I never even notice we’re not together anymore,
Until I hear a song on my iPod that you just had to had to haaaad to have
So I got out of my very warm and comfortable bed,
And bought the MP3 for you off Amazon so you could play it
That night before you fell asleep with your head on my shoulder
And your hair tickling my nose.
I never turn my head when I think I hear your voice,
Unless maybe it’s at that Starbucks on 7th St. where we almost got
Thrown out for being just a little too friendly
On the couches which just happened to be in front of the windows
And there might have been a complaint from a mother
Walking her kid to the comic book shop next door.
I never, EVER, don’t go somewhere just in case you might be there,
Except for what used to be our grocery store,
Or that Cajun joint in NoDa with the bread pudding you used to love.
I guess you
Still love that bread pudding.
I never miss you at all hardly,
Except at night.
Nights are a little tough, I’ll admit,
When there’s not anybody snoring so gently beside me
Nobody hogging the blanket
And putting cold feet between my legs just as I’m about to fall asleep
Then giggling and kissing me breathless
Before looking up at me with those kitten eyes and asking
“But you love, me, right?”
So I’m fine. Really, I don’t ever really think about you.
Much. To speak of.
He set his banjo on a peach crate,
Picked up a mason jar full of clear liquid,
Tore himself off a slash and said,
“Sing for me, Vera.”
Her voice wavered like a robin’s song,
High and clear across the smoke-filled room
And everybody drew still as Grandma sang gospel.
“I was standing, by my window,
on one cold and cloudy day”
Grandaddy’s fingers skipped across the banjo strings
Like Mama through a Carolina cotton field,
Bare feet kicking clods of red dirt while her patchwork dress
Snagged on branches, snatchin’ notes out of the air like
Grandma’s song floating through the kitchen while she made collards
For Sunday dinner.
“Will the circle be unbroken,
By and by, Lord, by and by.”
The whiskey stole his fingers,
Hard living and twelve children stilled her voice.
There was no music in them by the time I came along,
But every once in a while, when I played freeze tag with my cousins
In the back yard and hid behind the laundry hanging out in the sun to dry,
A bird would carry back a hint of melody, and I could hear the song
In Grandma’s eyes as she stood at the sink washing dishes
And watching the kids play in the yard.
“There’s a better home a-waiting,
in the sky, lord, in the sky.”