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© Shawn Nacona Stroud

(For my mother)

You were a Xerox of him,
nine months printed, the flesh
colored ink of the womb still
drying. I wanted to ball you
up and pitch you like trash
into the waste-bin, listen
as you crinkle out of existence,
and then hit the print button again.

©Shawn Nacona Stroud

*This poem was previously published in Issue #7 of the Mississippi Crow Magazine.

Abandoned skyscrapers, swamp foxtail raised
to sway along the tide-line. We weave
out to the Atlantic between you
like ants in the shadow of your steel-stems.

Beach sand grains our feet into sandpaper,
their crunch muffled as waves zip
the water’s edge shut. You creak
with the sea’s shove like harbored barges
groan their ropes along landing piers.

Only the seagulls make use of you now,
they roost on your ledges and speckle the toilet
of your walls. White streaks of indifference,
nobody cares to clean them off.

Gondoliers punt out among you,
steering their courses with fish splashes;
relics of the lost city of Venice, they dwindle
on the horizon. The torch clad hand they sail to
reaches out from the water like a drowning victim.

©Shawn Nacona Stroud

*This poem was previously published in Issue #7 of the Mississippi Crow Magazine.

Mother, we grew
in your neglected garden.
We survived for eight
long years as we choked
on the thick thwart
of your hate, it sucked
the soil nutrients from us.
We had barely bloomed
the day that you plucked us
from the dirt.

©Shawn Nacona Stroud

♦This poem was previously published in Issue #7 of the Mississippi Crow Magazine.

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