The 2River View 21.3 (Spring 2017)

Donald Zirilli

American Glinda

I met Glinda on the road.
She had a theory about
those crosses you see in the South,
something about lynching.
When you pass by a cross
in New Jersey
it probably has to do
with a drunk driver.

Glinda's one of them
answer for everything
type girls
you meet when you're
traveling too long.
She comes along
when it's almost over, explains
why you didn't have to go.

She used big words
she didn't know how
to pronounce.
Communicating was difficult,
but I took her to Tennessee.
I couldn't think
of a better place.

She had a theory about Elvis.
I told her to shut up about that.
We slept at the Motel Lorraine and she cried
as she ordered room service.
Before going out for ice
and never coming back
she told me when he said Mama,
he really meant Mama.

Learning to Ride a Bicycle with Attendant Vulture

The well-attended funeral echoed white roses.
They escorted her sister to the altar.

She said Cordelia never missed Lasagna Thursdays
up to that very week.

She said as many people cried when Cordelia retired, 
and she got sick eating five different cakes. 

She said Cordelia quit college to ride across Europe
but somewhere in Northern Italy, at the top of a walled city,
she saw her dead father and never rode a bicycle again.

She said what a brave child. 

She said Cordelia was only four when the training wheels came off
and she learned the taste of driveway,
got her first whiff of today's grand bouquets.

Donald Zirilli has work in Antiphon, Art Times, Nerve Lantern, River Styx, Specs, and elsewhere. He was the editor of Now Culture and is currently a member of the Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow Gang.

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