off my boots, I found a lost hook
in my sock. I got away clean.
I said, luckier than those trout
jerked out to gulp and flop in rasping air.
breakfast, I ordered ham. Poor Pig, I gnawed
slices of your gorgeous rump that wallowed
in pleasure while you squealed pure pig joy.
I see what Hell I have made myself.
stinging, biting, ripping revenge of all
rabbits, crushed ants, chopped earthworms, gassed rats,
I tossed on the bank, spiders trod to pulp--
back time for all I trod down. Pay back
flocks of chickens and herds of cattle
to my gluttony. Pay back for
greater crimes. Hell's fisherperson's
impale me, ass to eyeball, pluck off
arms, crack me like a rotten melon,
barbed steel into my jaw, toss me out, bait
some other soul ravenous for guilt.
will watch, enjoying his picnic--
nut-brown thigh, a plump breast, cherry lips,
cheeks, lady fingers, cauliflower
and his long-time down-home favorite,
sizzling pan of liver and testicles.
way the car rode when the road rose
banked and fell over
hill to the town, that was good.
roadside park with one table and one
oak and two blue spruce.
the Dekalb sign for the feed mill
Clara's Cafe that served
ANY OLD TIME.
Buddy's IGA. And off to the east
sweep of fine pasture with the big pond
the wind-bent willows and the cows there,
knee-deep in the shallows
the summer heat.
one stoplight, always green.
I slowed near the school because
didn't want to hit some decent kid,
I waved at the crossing guard lady.
the five big houses, set back,
I could admire their white columns
in the spring the oriental splashes
dogwood and redbud and azalea.
sign for Dr. Trout--eye, ear, nose and throat.
the billboard of Lawyer Hufflebarger,
grin grinned wider each year but his slogan
Get what you deserve -"
gave me pause.
another curve and there the famous
House and I was through, the road
before me, running true, going
going where I was headed.
G Mark DeFoe's work has been
widely published and anthologized, appearing in Paris Review,
Poetry, Sewanee Review, Kenyon Review, Denver Quarterly, Poetry
Ireland Review, Michigan Quarterly Review and many others. He has
published three chapbook, the latest, AIR, from Green Tower Press.