Before it was over, I made my mother cry, mid-September as the heat was lifting its mossy veil, I was demanding answers, saying for the third time he walked into the fire station & handed them a map. My children scattered like cicada wings & I not asking them to return. But no, I made her cry two years after we found rabbit carcasses in our front yard, two years after our headlights revealed them walking in an unhurried line against the edge of our neighbor’s house. I made my mother cry six years after the summer my father built three rooms in our basement, drove 10 hours home without asking for directions & carved birdhouse earrings from cherry wood. My children were afraid: swarms of bats that followed swarms of mosquitoes, the way their grandfather could lift 2x4s above his head, mud wasps & pool parties, my shrill & desperate voice, their grandmother’s tears, four pairs of eyes shrieking back at us across the bright grass.
Beth Gordon is a poet, mother and grandmother currently living in Asheville, NC. She is the author of two chapbooks: Morning Walk with Dead Possum, Breakfast and Parallel Universe (Animal Heart Press) and Particularly Dangerous Situation (Clare Songbird Publishing). She is Managing Editor of Feral, Assistant Editor of Animal Heart Press and Poetry Editor of Gone Lawn.