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Her Hair & Suburban

poems by Mark Blaeuer

Her Hair

Cut and brushed out as chemotherapy began.
Draped over a Judas tree’s dark bough, lost among the pink blossoms
falling in April and May. Still seen after
Thanksgiving, when treatment ended,
hanging silver as the moon,
untouched except by rain and air and light.

She hoped birds would weave those tresses for nests,
but the strands must have had the wrong texture, been too shampoo- fragrant.
The sad pelage became finally a dove gray fleece,
shorn from the head of a Sumerian goddess,
in our hosta bed as winter grew.

Suburban

Haul yard waste
over a pristine road.
A satisfying toss
down the hole at a county-owned
compactor?
Sorry, no clippings, leaves, or pruned-off limbs.
You then hie to a municipal landfill,
which accepts
everything. Still,
green resurrects itself
even in winter, even
in dreams.
Hard to get rid of, strangulating green.
You suppose it
represents death sprouting up,
smothering you, yet
you’re unsure.
Your thoughts tangle like roots in turf,
like passionflower vines
you ought to pull,
like knotted
garden hose or fictive
Nature.

 

Mark Blaeuer got his M.A. in 1989 from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and has made his home in the state ever since. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including The Charleston Anvil, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, El Portal, Nimrod, RE:AL, Slant, Town Creek Poetry and Westview. His two most recent books are Fragments of a Nocturne (Kelsay Books, 2014) and Baseball in Hot Springs (Arcadia Press, 2016).

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