“What Was Clean” by L. K. Thayer

and we get caught up

caught off guard

caught in the wild ride

losing our pride

and what we’ve worked hard

to gain only

to remain anonymous

nobody knows us

and we want to express

the fire we feel in our gut

to make an impression

to make a deal

not with the devil

but to rebel

against apathy and rust

misery and mistrust

turn misfortune into hope

so we don’t hang from

the rope of despair

wanting someone to care

to reach out

escape the day to day tear

repair what hasn’t decayed

and remember

what was clean

to begin with

L. K. Thayer’s Foto Fetish

© 2010

“The Picture” by Bill Duke

WHEN GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS BORN
THEY HAD A PARTY
CHOPPED DOWN A CHERRY TREE
DID ALL OTHER KINDS OF GOOD STUFF
BUT WHEN I CAME ALONG
MY OWN MOTHER DIDN’T KNOW I WAS HERE
SHE WAS ASLEEP
SO I HAD TO COME IN BY MYSELF
SURE, NOBODY PROMISED ME A ROSE GARDEN
BUT, I JUST WANTED AT LEAST A SEED TO GROW
SOMEPLACE THAT SAID
“HEY, HERE I AM, AND I WAS PLANTED BY WHAT’S HIS NAME.”
WHEN MY FATHER DIED
HE LOOKED IN MY FACE LIKE A SPARROW
HE MOVED ME SO MUCH
BUT
MY BOYS WERE THERE
AND I WAS TOO PROUD TO CRY
BUT
I KEPT HIS PICTURE UPON WHICH HE HAD WRITTEN
A FEW WORDS JUST BEFORE HE PASSED
HAD TUCKED IT INSIDE MY SHIRT
AND WHEN HE CLOSED HIS EYES,
MY MOTHER CAME INTO THE ROOM CRYING
MY SISTER THREW UP
I
WENT INTO THE BATHROOM
AND CLOSED THE DOOR
TOOK THE PICTURE OUT AND LOOKED ON THE BACK
AND IT SAID, “BOY, I LOVE YOU AND YOUR SISTER
I NEVER LOVED YOUR MOMMA
I NEVER LOVED MUCH ELSE IN MY WHOLE LIFE
BUT I LOVE YOU.”
TEARS TOOK ME
I TURNED ON THE FAUCETS SO MY UNCLES WOULDN’T HEAR ME
BUT I THINK THEY KNEW BECAUSE
WHEN I CAME OUT
UNCLE ALBERT PUT HIS ARMS AROUND ME
AND HE HELD ME SO TIGHT
THAT I THOUGHT
I WOULD NEVER LET HIM GO.

BILL DUKE

All Rights Reserved

© 2009