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Author Biography
Poetry By
  Nancy A. Henry

Published on: 1/25/2011

Fred's is bacon -
off my plate,
paw-swipe lightning.
Wild Kingdom jaguar
slinks to a corner,
wolfing with a
furtive growl.
Now I find him
licking the stove
for any slick and salty
bacon benediction
that escaped
the rag.
So Fred, it's finally
come to this?
Sleek familiar,
God knows I've had days
I'd lick a hot stove
for a taste.

Published on: 1/25/2011
Mount Mica

Sorting through the mine tailings on that sweltering July day,
inflamed with rock-hound lust
it was easy to miss the bend in the faint, stuttering trail.
scrambling from one blazing hunk of quartz to the next,
thrusting fist-sized crystal clusters into our garish nylon packs.
My 70-year-old mother in her baby blue Keds
trusted me.
My gentle, middle-aged autistic neighbor, Jim,
trusted me.
I had the map, such as it was.
The water held out for the couple of hours
we'd planned for, that morning at the overflowing
breakfast table, when hydration was the least
of our concerns.
When the slim jugs were empty, Jim retreated into
Spock-like rationality, reciting facts
relative to dehydration and uncertain rescue.
Mom grabbed a tiny toad and cried
"saved!" when the terrified creature
sprayed hot pee into her palm.
We laughed so hard we had to sit down
on the blazing treasure-jumbled hillside,
and before we stood again,
we unloaded those packs
lightening up for our unknown journey;
we left our treasures there for someone else to find.

Published on: 1/25/2011

So we decided to sell the motorcyle,
the St. Bernard, the cockatoo, the
green, yellow, and blue parrots, the sweet,
rattly hazard of a Karmann Ghia,
the absurdity of a living-room set we'd
been talked into at the Fayetteville Furniture Mall;
the one with a beer-holder in each armrest
and the lighted curio hutch,
where we displayed my fossilized mastodon clavicle
(from my paleontologist phase)
and your hand-blown bong--
except when one of our mothers was expected.
We were running from the Almighty God--
two fellowships to seminary
a compelling tailwind at our guilty backs.
You jumped ship before long,
some passing behemoth yawned you in
and vomited you back safely home
submitted to His will,
I survived the shipwreck,
the chastening nor'easter
blew me here where I still cling,
a stubborn barnacle on a wet, chill rock.
I am not going back.

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