“Reunion” By: Annalise Mabe

Poppy taught us where the safety
is, and how to hold real still
when your finger
pulls the trigger. Into the
hot baked clay,
like mom’s cakes or her
hair pomade.
We ran forward to follow
the bullet-made tunnel
in the mud-dirt.
Collecting shined empty shells
mined gold, a Kentucky rush.
He taught us how to look far out.
To shoot into the wall of rocks across
the river that rose high,
shouldering mounds of trees and things.
Heavy on the earth, like the
back of Atlas
There were horses in the guest room.
Plastic and collectable;
spotted black on white, chestnut
and frosty gray. On shelves they stayed
above our little heads, where
Arlen and I slept
under great grandma Frank’s
quilted blankets. Where we asked
in the black if the other knew
where we go when we die.
Nana was Sylvia, age eighteen,
Bronze-skinned and sunscreened.
In white and red nylon, she watched water
for days in
hot as hell Elizabethtown.
Poppy was Cecil
was twenty-five and lied
said he was eighteen, too.
So that she would get in
and drive-in to the movies.
Reaching on tip toes, in wet grass
I grabbed the not so firm blackberries
for boiling and conducing in
the kitchen, thick jarred jams
we took to the neighbors.
Bites swelled on my fed thighs
from a black and white striped mosquito
I had never seen in my own
Down by the creek, on the edge
we found glitter treasure
in crushed beer cans.
We were fish to lures and
all was ours.

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