Today's poem is by Alison Pelegrin
He actually said itthat, and
Material things can be replaced.
Loud as a stump grinder, twice
he yelled from across the street
before I made landfall
and was out of the car to witness
the mess firsthandthree trees
through the roof, the woods inside,
and all our attic treasures crushed.
Ghost in my own house,
I passed through the wall
that used to be a wall, and he followed,
held the power lines aside.
One thing I recognized, unearthed
by the storm indoors, was my copy
of Catullus, translated by Charles Martin,
that once belonged to Ellen Gilchrist.
I bought it at a used bookstore
back when I thought it meant something
for a book to call me from the shelf
and then fall open to a page
she had marked with a scrap
Remarkable, the way you go on living
with neither sweat nor spittle.
What I wouldn't give for a poet
as a neighbor instead of this
Southern Baptist thorn in my side.
He calls himself untouched, passed over.
I call him Sisyphus of the South,
dumping endless pine needles into bags,
red as the devil, pitchfork and all.
Copyright © 2007 Alison Pelegrin All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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