by Wanda Morrow Clevenger
Bare necks blushed and sweat soaked my bra,
Matt smoothed his hair, again,
Linda was upset the courthouse flag was tattered,
Charity concerned we hadn’t flags to hold; I half-expected
she might pluck a 25 one lining the street.
We came outside too early, squinting and fidgeting,
as ten minutes dragged into twenty before traffic ebbed
unnoticed, then noticed, and all heads swung north
like a row of tipped dominoes.
Our two-block straggly string sprang to attention, toed the curb,
the low rumble of motorcycles rounded the four-way
and rolled past slow enough to feel each angel’s fall; I bit my lip.
A silver-gray hearse snailed forward and my mind exited
wondering when gray became the new black ride to eternity, and
I knew at my time I wanted to snail the streets of Carlinville
in a kid-glove-gray wagon, serve mini crab cakes and tempura sushi after,
provide complimentary cocktails.
Two police cruisers followed red blue red blue in that way they do
and I was back on the curb, teary family cars bringing up the rear;
fresh from the same sermon suffered every time a soldier dies.
Wanda Morrow Clevenger lives in Hettick, IL. One hundred thirty-five pieces of her work appear or are forthcoming in online and print publications (yes, she keeps count). Her debut book This Same Small Town in Each of Us, a collection of this and that and some poetry, released on October 30, 2011. Links to published work as well as new stuff hang out on her blog It’s All Just Telling Tales Out of School: http://wlc-wlcblog.blogspot.com/