Poetry

Backwater

A woman takes off her bombshell
& puts on her chicken—takes off her chicken
& puts on her bombshell—non-stop

as a man’s swagger sags
to unveil his mother as an old man
in suspenders & mustachios

in a Booth Tarkington farce
at a local theatre when he was a boy
& didn’t recognize his own mother

then did—halfway through
& had to be taken out—screaming
or are we talking two women here

or are we talking two men
either way silent a baby grand
in a shut-down woollen mill—high-strung

above a waterfall
at midnight—a waterfall
an infidel in a crinoline