Guarding the Dump

by Henry Hughes

Karen’s credit cards, Dick’s drinking,
the mechanic who asked-out Mom
and left her tailpipe hanging.
It’s understood. I just listen. Pile it between my ears.
Now there’s my little pregnant pothead niece,
and her wacko boyfriend shooting crows
behind the dumpsters. The .22 pops.
Pops. A civil period
behind each report.

In medieval times
they guarded dumps. A busted soldier, a handsome
arrowshocked mute who liked the cry of gulls
and crazy cats, diamond flies buzzing
his fisted vaults. He’d know the rewards of silence
when the king’s wagons dropped their bones,
when the surgeon’s willowy wife
walked down with her greasy basket of smiles.

Henry Hughes is the author of two books of poetry, Men Holding Eggs and Moist Meridian.

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