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Language, Literature, Learning & Life.

Monday January Seventh: Headline

Monday January Seventh: Headline

The first fire that made the paper
consumed Old Man Shively’s
decrepit doublewide.

The town council sighed in relief
and passed new zoning laws
prohibiting such trash inside the limits.

Dressed in overalls and slippers
Shively sat in a folding lawn chair
where his living room had been and stared
towards a sky he’d ignored for years.

He was already drunk. No one thought
to ask who had left a case of Pabst
under the charred sweet gum
or thought to wipe the one empty can,
tucked in the crook, for prints.

The newspaperman wrote:
Electrical Fire stuns Resident
and ran the picture, a toothless widower
with arms as thin as tinder.


Anonymous said...

'Traditional', 'non-traditional', who's counting? This is a fine poem - a powerful narrative, economically told, tightly structured (I like the accumulation of verses as the poem moves towards its payoff), language direct & simple, setting up that punchy final image, 'with arms as thin as tinder'. Excellent.

Dick Jones

(Blogger doesn't recognise my username any more)

Amy Unsworth said...

Thanks Dick. I appreciate the comments. This is a part of a series I'm working on that I mean to be narrative instead of lyrical.

Thanks for stopping in.