I lay in a dried out cornfield with my legs up
into the sky, a wishbone, yes, a chicken-shit
wishbone. A big green and yellow John Deere
began singing a lullaby, moving toward my
mouth, my heart, all of me and I let it chew
me up, remembering mama saying chew
chew, chew on this fish. It may have bones.
Damn straight. What fish doesn’t? Don’t talk
to your mama like that. Just sayin… Anyway
I heard the crunch but never felt pain until
she tossed me into the deepest part of the
river where the triplets died last September.
The verdict is still out whether John Dorroh taught any high school science; however, he showed up every morning at 6:45 for a few decades with at least two lesson plans in his briefcase. His poems and short fiction have appeared in Dime Show Review, Sic Lit, Poetry Breakfast, Suisun Valley Review, 99 Words, and others. He travels, bikes and hikes, and plays in the dirt when the weather allows.
of fear. The mist came alive as it poured
no knowing if they were there at all.
You wafted the thick fog of smoke
away from the space between us,
and in the same movement,
you beckoned me forwards.
Your feeble hands trembled
and you slurred an invitation
as whisky-filled blood pumped
throughout the body you inhabited.
I shuffled towards you in my slippers
and Saturday morning pyjamas
and you lifted me on to your lap,
your uneasy fingers digging into my ribs,
shaking under the weight
of someone who used to be a toddler.
The cocktail of whiskey and tea
embraced the both of us
while you embraced me,
your willowy arms and raised veins
holding on until you couldn’t anymore.
Someone rich outside my bed-sit window –
there’s an Ascot forecourt,
showroom of them, shiny, black,
luminous workmen in orange bibs and braces,
baggy dungarees to disguise
their expanding guts,
doing the road maintenance,
digging six foot trenches,
laying electrical wiring.
He’s one of the lads, the driver –
a sub-contractor, the electricity board,
driving a Lamborghini to work every morning –
more electricity from the National Grid,
light and heating for us peasants –
he sits on a pneumatic drill all day,
bladder bursting, hammer and drill,
thinking of his French waitress girlfriend,
bending over in her nurses’ party outfit, silver
she never returns his text messages,
pictures of him naked in golden piss.
He works on site,
employing a couple of the lads –
a Lamborghini parked outside my bed-sit,
here on Grovsenor Road, the summit of
Eggars Hill, my paltry, urban existence,
Aldershot, Rigsby HQ.
I wonder about his tax and insurance,
the size of his wage –
the price of fuel rising, the price of his existence,
how far his petrol tank takes him, mileage –
six foot trenches to lay the dead into,
electrical wiring beneath the road, grit, tarmac, etc…
I’m confused, could it be
that one of the Russian workmen,
installing an electrical generator in the municipal
gardens, war memorial, red poppies for the war dead,
medals, laurel leaves for the victorious dead,
driving a Lamborghini to work every morning.
It’s parked outside my bed-sit window,
upward social immobility, I suppose, Theresa May,
the vicar’s daughter, going to hell –
a Lamborghini parked outside my bed-sit
window, shiny, beetle-black, waist height,
never likely to rust.