Thursday, November 9, 2017

The sun’s not yellow (it’s chicken)

Before momma
married a hard man
and moved north 
to a hard land, 
she filled her city pantry
with water purification tablets,
with gas mask filters,
with cream of mushroom soup.

Before momma
duct taped cellophane 
around the windows,
she taught herself the harmonica
so she could play along to
Heart of Gold
between shifts at the restaurant. 

Before momma
was a waitress in a white shirt
bleached perfect 
and ironed smooth, 
she studied Edgar Casey 
and Kirlian photography
and spent mornings
reading the I Ching
while smoking cigarillos. 

Before momma
kept rune stones 
in the cookie jar, 
she was a student 
with a crappy west bank walk up 
where Bobby Dylan puttered around 
with his guitar for a few weeks in 64.

Before momma
taught Bob Dylan how to macrame,
they shared cold cinnamon sandwiches,
and she asked him about New York City.
“Oh, I dig the city, baby. 
Like I dig the freckles on your knees.”
When she mentioned
that she didn’t have any freckles,
he assured her,

“Exactly, baby. Exactly.”

Posting as my response to my prompt over at Real Toads.....


  1. Wowwww, so heavy. Woops, I thought I was in the 60s. Love all the details, especially the runes in the cookie jar.

  2. ps--this reminds me "My Heart's In The Highlands", a song about Dylan's encounter with a waitress that has similar exchanges in it.

  3. I love it. Momma used to be someone, know someone before she was with you. Such a straight forward history.

  4. I love the way you structured your poem, Izy. The repeating intro line to each stanza and the gradual slipping into prequel. It makes me think of all the things we miss in our lives, all the things that might have made a difference too.

  5. To some extent I feel that you captured the time perfectly. A time we're too young to really know... I also love the runes in cookie jars.

  6. Mine is so clearly make believe
    Yours has that ring of truth
    Well told


  7. I really must try some hash before I write; it might turn out like this wonderful reminiscence!

  8. That repeating intro worked so well, you held me entranced. Thanks for a very interesting prompt too

    much love...