Carolyn D. Wright
Carolyn D. Wright Poems
A girl on the stairs listens to her father
Beat up her mother.
She comes down in her nightgown.
The piano stands there in the dark
Like a boy with an orchid.
She plays what she can
Then she turns the lamp on.
Her mother's music is spread out
On the floor like brochures.
She hears her father
Running through the leaves.
The last black key
She presses stays down, makes no sound
Someone putting their tongue where their tooth had been.
Some nights I sleep with my dress on. My teeth
are small and even. I don't get headaches.
Since 1971 or before, I have hunted a bench
where I could eat my pimento cheese in peace.
If this were Tennessee and across that river, Arkansas,
I'd meet you in West Memphis tonight. We could
have a big time. Danger, shoulder soft.
Do not lie or lean on me. I'm still trying to find a job
for which a simple machine isn't better suited.