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Blue Sunday

by David Hill

I drive the Delta 88
as Mother shrinks
down in the seat,
a facial hair shines
translucent quill,
her sunken sockets
scan hallowed ground
where father’s body rots.
(it’s really in there)
The space to his left waits
soon, so very soon.

A yellow dome tent
down, down the embankment
in single frame flash
when we blur past.
I have seen the man,
collapsed in a rag pile
near the exclusive entrance
of the Food Lion.
(we don’t want you here)

Mother is so old
so we stick to familiar;
Captain Pete or the Mexican place?
(I eat all the salsa,
she says it’s too hot)
She has lost her drug card,
and keeps on about it
in the broken speech
of hardened arteries,
and “We’ll get a replacement”
just doesn’t end it
when competence is the core.
(be sure and turn off the stove)

Great piles of sizzling food,
confident tones and loud laughter
from six nearby Mexicans.
(we don’t want you here)
Swollen brown knuckles
wrap cool brown bottles,
even on Sunday
moist red clay
cakes the work boots.
I miss the camaraderie of men,
but I can never return to a time
when I believed I knew
kind from selfish from guilt.

I leave the Mexican waiter
twenty-five percent
and say, “Welcome to The U.S.A."


Author's Note: You won't see this stuff on "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Posted on 05/09/2006
Copyright © 2024 David Hill

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 05/10/06 at 02:37 AM

This is a vivid picture you paint of your relationship with your mother and observations of the down-and-out, and the willing-to-work, tho' not welcome. Very thought provoking - an excellent piece.

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