Monday, December 10, 2018

Teresa J. Wong

MAYBELLE

Your innocent eyes saw too much.
Your naive voice said too much.
And nothing could've saved that little girl,
stepping softly into the sheriff's car.
Just like nothing can save you, boy.

Yes, they already had the noose tied
long before either of you laid eyes on that girl.
They just didn't know its target
would be so small.

And you're all I have left, boy.
You and these four thin walls
and this stretch of land that's a mere sliver
next to all the others they've amassed.

But don't you worry, my dear boy.
I won't let those white men hang you.
No, they won't be able to harm you—
this sweet poison will guarantee it.

And with cataracts in my eyes
and arthritis in my hands,
I'll bring this rusty colt onto the porch,
and we'll see what else your old grammy can do.

Now eat your beans, boy.
That devil sheriff's comin'.
You best stay quiet.


Teresa reads "Maybelle":



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Teresa confesses: "I was in the middle of editing Travis Richardson's short story collection, Bloodshot and Bruised, when I attended a Tracy Grammer house concert. During the show, the muse hit with the voice of Maybelle, the protagonist of his story, "Maybelle's Last Stand." I wrote this poem the next day."


TERESA J. WONG is a poet, linguist, knitter, photographer, techie, and occasional editor. She recently participated in the 30 Poems in November! literary fundraiser for Center for New Americans, writing one poem each day of the month. She lives in Los Angeles with her crime writing husband and superhero daughter.

4 comments:

Roger Netzer said...

Well, what's not to love about this poem? It's as good as a movie!

Travis Richardson said...

Chilling, great reading, Teresa!

Cranky said...

Wow! That hits you like a ton of bricks. Just shows that love can be really complicated. Nice work, Teresa J. Wong!

Anonymous said...

Well done! Thanks. Peace.