Jenny Billings Beaver – Two Poems


has a tough Ford truck that leaks oil
on our shared driveway, bears a sticker
that reads, “If you value your life
as much as I do this truck, don’t touch it!”
He blasts Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osborne,
flicks cigarette butts from his garage.

He wears cut off t-shirts, holey
jeans dirt-stained and black boots
with soles that flop open like a mouth
eating his toes each time he takes a step.
He is proud of his long blond ponytail
under his black ball cap,
he doesn’t want to let it go.

One night, he left the light on in his truck.
When we knocked on his front door, he answered
barrel first, standing behind the cold
of his shot gun, in a dingy white wife beater
and NASCAR boxers.

When he turned on the porch light
we looked down so he could not see
his balding head’s reflection
in the mirrors of our eyes.


Doughnuts and a Movie.

Daddy takes us to the old gas station
not far from home, the one
with the smoky glass door
that chimes when opened,
holey, plank floors that creak
the crash of the cash drawer.

The one with a doughnut stand
on the right, where we pick ‘em fresh
(Promise not to spoil your dinner)
white sugar icing, glazed or sprinkles.

The one with the stagnant back room
black curtained door and paneled walls
with movies to rent, numbered
on neon tabs dangling by golden hook.

I remember clearly the highlighter orange
the smell of dust and the feel
of the stuffy wooden room
we never told mommy about.