Few here want more confessions, if this is the audience, then
feed it. Walter Rhodes, who might have been my grandfather,
ran grocery stores the easy way, he signed papers, my grandmother
did the work, kids of his kids, one say me, my sister, my brother,
took our turns working the places in guise of being loved by
the warring ageds.
Grandpa played dominoes with his cronies on the porch, daily,
daily Grandma kicked the table upended and swore she was
goddamned fed up with the sonofbitch who used his cripple
to avoid labor, hiked her skirt at the cowed laughers, stormed
back into the gloom, spitting snuff juice into her tin can
never out of hand.
We kids spied Grandma, watched her heading for the
back field, heard her cursing men, one devil in particular
who was not Grandpa we later understood.
We later understood our mother was a god's gift to Grandma
given by a passing grocery salesman who told the young
woman her beauty was being wasted in Millersview tending
racks of canned goods, honoring and obeying a fool who
knew not what treasure his secret wife contained.
Grandma's treasure was unlocked with these whisperings
and thence our mother, then our aunt, thence another aunt,
as the years passed with the salesman replenishing racks
of foodstuffs and candies and tools for keeping house.
We kids spied Grandma trekking to the back field where she
entered a brushy wigwam made of mesquite and tumbleweed
and feathers and dung. We kids heard her instant change
from cursing as she crawled into her homestead, from cursing
labor's grocery prison to crooning lovestruck of the orderbook
of replenishment, the listing of the many varieties of foods
needed to build healthy bodies, the overflowing baskets of
children's fancies, the labor-saving implements of warmhearth
homemaking, she sang, she moaned, she yelled in muffled
shouts, she rustled the quivering wigwam in the throes of yearning
Walter, Walter, oh Walter, thank you, thank you ever so much,
please come back again.
We three kids read in the newspapers later this Walter was not
our mother's father, Grandma shot Grandpa, Grandpa shot
Grandma, or Walter shot Walter, their daughters told their kids
three different stories, the stories multiplied as the families
told them to explain away uncontrollable engorgements.
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