My Brother, You Drank Hard Darkness
Your eyes, brown like mother’s     you mutter, senile bitch
father in cast         only eleven, you ran the tractor late summer hail        left you
without leaves        fractured    eyes, sunflower striped seed
leaving the sold place        the sweet dark earth    you said, father smashed the farm cats
against the barn wall        made you watch eyes, brimming wasps
in small town    father, mother, teachers smirked    stupid coach gets paid more
you, teenager, holding the ball    coyotes toughed it out     inside your eyes
after bath, mother running to bedroom towel loosely thrown     but swinging free
father, oblivious your eyes, barbs pizzicatoing on a taut wire
beer, whiskey, wine, whatever’s cheap twenty, bouncer for a bar laughed a lot
loves disappeared into your college eyes’    satin-sleek sheets
you married    divorced, married, divorced       married first wife again    third divorce
left you        eyes, moths beating in a closed glass
now    father, alzheimered dead   mother stroke dementiated, leaving their
house
I don’t give a damn if you just buried a husband    keep on packing, old lady
Two liquored screech owls, your eyes     watch the mouse

Margaret Walther