Poetry is always looking for voices from the wilderness, and with her country music cool, Southeastern Kentucky’s Marianne Worthington is a fitting, masterful voice for Appalachia. Her work has appeared in Oxford American, CALYX, Grist, and other publications.
My mother works the crossword while we wait
for my father to die. I imagine
his father, with his pretty fiddle, his
hateful temper, standing on death’s logging
road to meet his son. My daughter’s nightgowns
flutter forgotten on the clothesline.
In sleep, she is my mother reborn.
Ready or not, our days begin on black
wings and end the same. The crows strut and squawk
their dim song. Caw! is a three-letter word
for mockery. Into our yard they come
marching like drunken soldiers. Mother hates
this murder but feeds them stale bread, knowing
they steal our brightest treasures for their nests.
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