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November 26, 2020 Poetry

Odd Ode

Seth Pennington

Odd Ode photo

Your hair blows like a plastic grocery bag
down the street, waving in the smells
of smoked turkeys and burning leaves.
I mash canned yams which are not yams at
all in butter and sugar while you grin at
the sound, what you remember from me fucking you
into the morning. We cook for hours and
the floors just sparkle and we even
put in two new toilet seats since
the lids were swinging on one hinge apiece.
The family dips in for supper after one
has car trouble and one started her first period and
one is vomiting his last relationship into a trash
can. One’s plate is a sliver of turkey, a black olive, some
spiced cashews—all that emptiness and white!
Ours are shovelfuls of every side and the meats
piled high. They sip coffee later while we make up
leftovers in boxes for them to carry home so no
one has to cook for a week and just when
we sit down finally overly full and wondering how we are
getting by without whiskey after all that and all them,
the sun sets and the rain starts and it’s getting too close
to after 5 and one can’t keep her feral cats
waiting on their share of this holiday, so
the front door slams shut and we shuttle
a mother a half hour east and another mother
an hour west but the traffic is stalled on the way
back home, a wreck in the rain, and our bellies still
bulging out of our belts while other cars are missing
their dinner bells and everyone uncomfortable,
just sitting and stopped, the rain making
currents down the windshield while three people are
dead at the scene and all the cars, one long line of
headlights, serves as a kind of parade, a still-life painted by
Thomas Kinkade and we think—how about that light!
When we get home we find the whiskey.
Your hair isn’t blowing but glows in firelight as does your skin
and I get hungry for you again
because we are still living
and I laugh to myself remembering the sound of smashed yams,
how silly it is—the jokes we make out of loving each other
and how sincere we are about it now
that when we go to the bathroom
there’s less danger of one of us falling in. 



image: Mx Moritz