Love and Revenge

Mom writes in her will that if anybody
fights over stuff it all goes to the dogs
at the Keller County Shelter

Mac and I, we don’t fight
not that we want to deprive the coon hounds
too old to go squirrel hunting
or the overstimulated pit bull mixes
dropped through the night slot
when the new baby arrives

But at the millennial end of the decline
from pre-famine Ireland to post-industrial Appalachia
as the number one cash crop devolved from moonshine
to methamphetamine and the body count from speed and oxycontin
increased to where they had to bring
in an embalmer from Lexington to help out

Mac and I got out
and now neither one of us is willing to fight
Gray Granny’s pie safe
go ahead and take it. No, you
Whatever ends up beside our name is strapped onto the van
without comment or complaint

Mac gets the mahogany dining table, seats ten, fine with me
He was still years from being born the time
Daddy smashed a fifth of gin against it
and gashed the grain
down its whole length
and Mom hurled a skillet at his head

and I, tilting sideways in my amniotic sac
was still believing I could get there
in time

Dawn McGuire is a neurologist and author of The Aphasia Café (IFSF Publishers, San Francisco, 2012) and two other poetry collections, Sleeping in Africa and Hands On. She received the 2011 Sarah Lawrence/Campbell Corner Language Exchange Prize and was awarded a 2012 Troubadour Prize from the U.K. She grew up in Eastern Kentucky and lives in Northern California.
*Photo courtesy of La Belle Province.
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