Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review


Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review


Article excerpt

Gathered in the yard, shed-side, pokeweed,

black walnut, pecan tree all leafed and

umbrellaing. My grandmother, the relatives

constellating after my grandfather's funeral

as the sons and grandsons spill their beer

and whiskey-on-the-rocks obeisance in the weeds

among my grandfather's metal underpinnings-

wheel axles, piled riggings, the teeth and claw

digging and rooting tools. The goings inside

for chicken and cake. My grandmother

won't sleep in her bed tonight, she'll stay

on her sewing room's single mattress, the walls'

peach, floral lace curtains, the black enamel

Singer's needle pierced mid-stitch in fabric.

After the burial, I sit at her sewing table

and roll off my nylon hose. In view

above, a photograph: my grandparents

and their children in front of their old house

and fields. The seven sisters aligned

on one side, the six brothers on the other,

a flock's V-flight, beside my grandparents.

My grandmother's apron over her dress,

her work interrupted for this. …

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