roots of blue veins trailing
but dreams flutter here
hummingbirds hovering over these keys.
Dare I tell you?
I saw him staring
the shaven-head solider
still a boy in his mother’s eyes
The leg crunches hardening belly into aluminum washboard–
that Aunt Cil used to scrub dirt from Lon’s socks
On the third mile of a walk that took me nowhere
I caught him staring
He smiled that grin that boys give women their mama’s ages
But I saw past the smile, to the wincing
He thinks my dreams vanished
with the eggs I once plopped
with the routine of assembly line chocolates.
Dare I tell him?
She tilts her slinky neck back
stretching her ostrich chin
This will give you Gumby skin
Try it, she says.
But I know only surgery can fix what ails her now
Seeing her mama’s face falling
pantyhose whose elastic has come undone.
In the rearview mirror
she sees me the way she wants to remember me
through blue eyes
Of walking into the doctor’s office
seeing a farmer with the book suspended
four inches from the nose that he got from his daddy’s
not his mama’s side of the family.
So lost he doesn’t look up
doesn’t notice when the nurse calls out my name
it is the same one on the spine
Of the book he is reading.