Monday, March 18, 2013

Meghan

The grass that April seemed stunned,
as if winter had kicked it out of the house.

That was the year of the fiery crash
and the bullshit sermon.

Daisies came up in the graveyard,
and the spring sun went down easier than it rose.

You were Meghan of the tractor pasture,
my baby of the barbed wire ditch.

You showed me, all those times under a sickle moon,
how a Scorpio's kiss can make the earth move.

Mama said it was the mines settling,
but all I believed in, that April, was the gospel of your arms.

Summer came, and the cicadas sang, then died.
Later, we knocked pecans down from the trees,

gathering them in our jean jackets spread on the ground to be forgotten
as we got drunk on illegal beer and each other's skin.

April is always a rainy, uncertain month,
and summer, here, can put a good woman in the madhouse.

Anyway, it's only March, and colder than a banker's smile,
but I woke up thinking of you, Meghan, so I called in queer and wrote you this poem.
________ 

image: Emmylou Harris

 

24 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

(first off, i THOUGHT that was emmylou...)

second, i just love how you can make each poem so different from any other. your style will change from post to post. i love that.

third, this was awesome. 'colder than a banker's smile.' you make me return to days of foolish youth and promises.

Margaret said...

The ultimate story teller. With that I mean you make me feel a part of the story.

HermanTurnip said...

"as we got drunk on illegal beer and each other's skin."

This line made me smile affectionately.

Wow. This piece seemed highly personal in a sweetly sad way. Great job!

Cloudia said...

such a note-perfect poem. Your word play thrills



ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Sigh. Perfection.

sharplittlepencil.com said...

Shay, someone else was playing with "a kiss cold as..." and folks were batting that around, but your phrase, "Cold as a banker's smile," reminds me of just how brilliant you are. I'm sending this one as my fave distaff poem at dverse Pretzels and Bullfights. You inspire me. Peace, Amy

Kerry O'Connor said...

I always like the poems you write in couplets.. the long lines to spin out each image and the unhurried pace through to the end. This is filled with warmth and spice, and the magic thing called youth.

lapis said...

I love these:

"summer, here, can put a good woman in the madhouse"

"so I called in queer and wrote you this poem"

Perfect metaphor for a relationship:

"Summer came, and the cicadas sang, then died"

This is a great poem.

Joanna Jenkins said...

LOVE the opening line- And you held my attention to the every end.

This was perfect.

xo jj

G-Man said...

You get into these trances that cause you to write such strange yet hauntingly perfect images.
I loved this poem Shay...

Kay L. Davies said...

Wonderful, Shay, all the way through.
K

Brian Miller said...

You were Meghan of the tractor pasture,
my baby of the barbed wire ditch....nice textures...she sounds quite amazing...at least your words are enchanting talking bout her...calling in queer...you ended with me smiling...

Gretchen Leary said...

Loved this. The ending definitely made me smile! The intensity of the story is captivating. So much depth in your words

lapis said...

I love the way you sneak in double meanings. Like here:

"Mama said it was the mines settling" (could also mean the settling of one's selfishness)

"Summer came"

"spread on the ground to be forgotten" (both the jackets and the girls; also what jackets represent ... a layer of clothing, covering, masking, protection, warmth)

"illegal beer" might represent anything forbidden; I don't think this relationship is allowed to exist

the cicadas singing could represent someone telling on you

The crash is perhaps someone's husband dying, being buried (the sermon, the daisies). Or maybe the death is only a metaphor for something lost or destroyed. Either way, these people take solace in one another's arms ... until they can't anymore. April has to decide what will happen.

"kicked out of the house" at the beginning makes me think there was already a separation of some sort underway before this other relationship took root; maybe the death is just representative of the first relationship being buried. Or of the pain caused by this relationship.

If she's riding the tractor, perhaps she's doing her husband's job because he's gone or has been killed. Perhaps in a mining accident. Or was it a car crash? Was it an accident, or was it caused intentionally? Or was the fiery crash just a town event that you're recalling along with this relationship?

Grass could also have different meanings. Perhaps the grass is a woman and the winter is a cold man. Maybe the grass is the brokenhearted partner you've replaced. Really, anything is possible here, symbolically speaking.

If the beer was illegal, it was either illegally made or you were underage. So perhaps your fathers worked in the mines, and perhaps they were injured/killed. No matter what happened, it's clear that you comforted each other. And I picture you being quite young. Certainly the madwoman reference could be related to love. But I can also imagine it describing a mother who has lost her husband, the way you would process this if you were the oldest child for example. Seeing your mother go mad after your father was killed, running away to be with this girl you love to pretend nothing else exists or matters.

Your March at the end, I believe, is current. Every March and every April may take you back to her arms for the rest of your days.

green-bean said...

Your description of the time of year is captive. And I can picture myself there, as well as the feelings. I love this piece.

Daryl said...

ah ... not going to analyze, going to enjoy the words, the flow .. the after glow ...

razzamadazzle said...

Lovely sentiment. I love the getting "drunk on illegal beer and each other's skin." Sounds perfect!

darkangelwrites said...

I like the contrast of real, hard elements and fairytale feelings.

Poet Laundry said...

That opening couplet is just so cool. You really know how to draw a reader in.

‘Daisies came up in the graveyard,
and the spring sun went down easier than it rose.’

I really like that…how it begins with ‘daisies’ and ends with ‘rose’, which may not have been intended to be taken botanically and is just my mind playing with it, but still, I like. And so many great phrasings here as well… ‘sickle moon’ and ‘colder than a banker’s smile’ to name a few.

P.S. I will be ordering that power trio book soon!

blackwildflowers said...

'April is always a rainy, uncertain month,
and summer, here, can put a good woman in the madhouse.'

or even a sane one. Agree with darkangel.

Sara said...

You are an amazing poet. It's like the person who play many instruments; you do this with poetry. I love reading your poems. Each one is so different -- sometimes they tease, sometimes they grieve and sometimes they delight.

I enjoyed this one and loved this line: "but all I believed in, that April, was the gospel of your arms."

"...the gospel of your arms" is such a strong image; it's both visual and auditory.

Mama Zen said...

"That was the year of the fiery crash
and the bullshit sermon."

That's just classic.

Fred Rutherford said...

outstanding piece. Love how you wove the words together, creating the felt poem, yet all the while creating a brilliant narrative. Really enjoyed. Thanks

Susan said...

"The grass that April seemed stunned,
as if winter had kicked it out of the house."

I love this personification, and how it links with

" but all I believed in, that April, was the gospel of your arms."

If only some of our Spring fevers and earth shaking could be attributed to such kisses!