Today's poem is by Adam Tavel

Against Elegy

Mother told me when the snoozing drunk
sledge-hammered her sister Barbara
two weeks after graduation they lost

the Big It—the thing that makes
buttercups sprout through sidewalk cracks
and meadow pipits perch on barbwire.

After funeral mass the clan circled
around the open grave
of their kitchen table sniffling

at sweet inedibles. Through the window
just then as she tells it
a buck trotted snow-crowned from the hollow

and stood under Barbara's dogwood,
the sapling she
planted as a girl. Now grandchildren

when they ask about the senior portrait
atop the piano's fading varnish hear
how eleven siblings peered bloodshot

whispering holymoly
at flecked fur and antlers
sentry for the falling cold.

Copyright © 2017 Adam Tavel All rights reserved
from The Fawn Abyss
Salmon Poetry
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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