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October 3, 2019 Poetry

Two Poems

Emily Blair

Two Poems photo

The Hen Who Pecked Her Children to Death

my dad stormed the mound in Little League
after three pitches brushed
just by his hip

imagine with me
my father, that slow-burn righteousness
catching already in his body, his head
still crowned with thick and cowlicked-all-to-hell
brown-blond hair shining in a low spring sun
when he flipped off his helmet
and threw the bat
and went to fight,
never one to take a bat at a kid who didn’t have one,
some honor still in flying fists and loosened teeth

imagine with me
what all my dad said
about honor, and fairness, doing right
instead of good,
imagine my father strangling the hen who pecked to death
her chicks still slick with newborn caul

and imagine the hilarity
of a bench-clearing brawl
set forth by this boy
with cracked voice and thick knuckles,
my dad always a body
who could set something
into motion



I Take My Partner to a Wedding

and everyone calls us “girls” and “ladies.”
we put hands at the base of one another’s backs,
everyone feels good about themselves
not being homophobic, not aghast
at two people they know might flinch
in this space, this time and event

and we eat the food, watch the vows
steeped in Jesus and coming
together in the eyes of God and all of us,
all of us witness, watching and seeing
the entwinement of two lives

and I will not now take the time
to tell you how wrong and right everyone was
in assessing us, my partner and me,
and I will not now take the time
to teach you about gender, gender expression,
pronouns, or the deep flinch
at every “lady” “girl” and “lesbians”
that we hear about ourselves together
and apart

because I want to remember only
how handsome, how entirely present and enraptured by even this
so normal a profession of love
we were, together


image: Doug Paul Case