The woman who painted it got a divorce in the 1950s,
and consoled herself with bobby socks and a bowling league.
When grandpa saw her at the alley and asked her out,
she hooked him with the line,
I wouldn’t have another man, even if his asshole
was lined with diamonds.
She taught all us grandkids how to mix concrete,
apply pesticide and coax nightcrawlers up with a hose.
On windy evenings, she’d put tin cans on corn tassels
and let us call the order as she lowered her cheek to a Remington.
She performed miracles of profane language and entertained us
with R rated movies and trips to Dairy Queen.
In the summer, she skinny dipped,
drank Jack Daniels out of mason jars in the screened in porch,
and turned her feet to leather walking barefoot
up the gravel lane and between the fields.
Her favorite color was brown,
so she never confessed to missing summer when it was gone,
or admitted that she was the one who did it—
but every January, the window by the kitchen table would bloom.
From where she sat, hand painted purple flowers
aligned with where the iris beds lay, long dormant under the snow.
Lorrie Ness is a poet writing in a rural corner of Virginia. When she’s not writing, she can be found stomping through the woods, watching birds and playing in the dirt. Her work can be found in numerous journals, including THRUSH, Palette Poetry and Sky Island Journal. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2021, and her chapbook, “Anatomy of a Wound” was published by Flowstone Press in July of 2021.
© 2022, Lorrie Ness