The 2River View 24.4 (Summer 2020)

J. T. Ledbetter

midnight at the Old Havilke Place R.R. 1

father your tongue was a saw
and your hairy arm at night used the razor strap
as I repeated god’s promise that nothing would happen to me

mother you stood in the dark kitchen
bloody rabbits still in the sink
the picture of Jesus shimmering in your tears

I wept under the covers
my brother said that he would fix everything
and took down the 16 gauge
as the strap came down and birds flew against the window
taking me with them over the farm
their silky feather covering my sins

then all three were gone into newspapers
soggy on lawns in small towns crusted with silence
while I dreamed of clean white sheets and a sink full of light
from the sun he kept at the bottom of his heart

J. T. Ledbetter has poems in Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, and The Southern Review. Old and Lost Rivers, was published in 2012.

 << Peter Waldor    Anthony Aguero >>
Copyright 2River. Please do not use or reproduce without permission.