Single Wide Life (Poem)

2014-12-23 09.43.27

 

Single Wide Life

Growing up in a double wide trailer
Single wide world

Coal-gutted hillsides
Power plants loom umbrageous
Over my high school

Kyger, Gavin Plants
Lighting New York, New York
Dumping cancer
Killing Cheshire, Ohio

Southern Ohio, welfare checks in the mail
Daughters pregnant another time, bun in the oven,
Bigger check in the box

Valedictorian  enlisted (Navy)
Sight the world to see it
Life keeps on–an enlarging stain

“Cough, cough:
Has the mail come?
Shut the damn baby up!”

Chris gets on the bus
Holding a browned dishrag
To his bloody mouth:
He fell, he says:
His sister whispers their
Dad broke a coffee cup
Across Chris’ mouth

He squeezes into a corner of the seat,
Takes out a paperback of Candide:
He is reading it because I did
And he reads while his lip clots

Pangloss
The best of all possible worlds

Growing up in a double wide trailer
Single wide life

 

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