Your rocking chair sways by itself now,
a phantom southern belle of floral cotton
the snapping of peas nipping at tips. In your
youth, twirling in taffeta and silk, a pastel fan,
a curve of lip, youâ€™re a debutante. Feet bare of
cloth, you run through fields, ants on anklesâ€“
belly moving to the sound of bullfrogs. Holding
your hand and a strand of poppies, your brother
leads you to a tree where peaches fly. And there
you sit, stuffing pits of cherries into the side
of your cheeks and nose. Have you seen Mr. Nat?
They placed him in a wicker chair, brown toes
cocked up towards the Carolinas. The cancer flies
gathered in his pockets, death followed and settled.
Is he there yet? Now you are on the porch. That house
of white shutters and long necked bottles of coke.
My father lays on your lap, head lolled to crickets, and
you begin to sing, â€œmah honey, mah honey, mah honey.â€