Before

Before I was born, Churchill began using the V sign for victory. My mother looked
lovely in Red Cross green and 5 AM milk was left on the doorstep.

When I was six, I walked by myself the long blocks to the picture show. I had shined
shoes, home-baked pies, matinees.

When I was eight, my grandparents looked old or were dead. People said dead then
instead of some euphemism that pleased the ancient relatives.

When I was ten, my father drove away. In those days nobody but our family had a
divorce. People whispered, “gone.”

When I was twelve, I lived a horse life—bridle and bit, farrier and pastern, the old
horseman. People gossiped about what happened in the barn.

Later, when the astronauts shot away, my anxious breath was caught in space as trapped
under a fifties-girl’s sky as any person caught behind the hatch of a capsule.

 

 

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives and writes in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of two books and five chapbooks. Most recently They Went to the Beach to Play (LoCoFo Chaps, 2017). For more about her work, check her website at www.wendytaylorcarlisle.com.

poetryBarzakh Mag