I’ve miles to go but I have no pony.

My hair is braided into a donkey whip.


Flies buzz around your sweet tongue, honey.

I see you lying in a squeaky dry ditch.


Do you taste iron between your teeth?

Feel your lousy hair lice crawling creep?


You’re home now waiting for a stall with heat.

(She bought you baggy pants dangling to your feet)


You’re 62, slow as forgotten gumption

You say: “I don’t run much but I’d like to have that option.”


I don’t care about your Red Heels of Freedom.

You’re a fat wood louse. With a license to run.


(If I care about your cares will you care for me?

Say you could care less about carrying me?)


You say happy’s being where you want to be.

Sorry baby this song’s about me.


With a little application you could appliqué me.

Happenstance evidence, happenstance happy.


You can watch my life flash before your eyes.

With a dubbed in soundtrack, repeating your lies.


I could embroider tomorrow on my hands in red ink.

Carve “RIP Mr. Icky” over the bloody sink.


And with eighteen spider webs to bandage my hands

I’d stop up your mouth and silence your laugh.


It’s a heavy little bubble your hollow mind.

It’s a steady little rumble that holds my time.


Slumgullion curmudgeon your little stove sings.

The tractor’s in the shed. The chainsaw has wings.


by Kelley Jean White


Kelley’s writing has been widely published since 2000 in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Friends Journal, Nimrod, Poet Lore, Rattle, the Journal of the American Medical Association and in a number of chapbooks and full-length collections, most recently Toxic Environment from Boston Poet Press, Two Birds in Flame, poems related to the Shaker Community at Canterbury, NH, from Beech River Books, and “In Memory of the Body Donors,” Covert Press. She have received several honors, including a 2008 grant for poetry from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

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