Taylor Graham

Rookie (Pasadena, CA)

Grandma Dawson's Girls - Poem by Taylor Graham

Of the hottest she chose
the hottest: chiles
that made her Texas Ranger
blanch, come up for air, “Oh yes!
That’s almost
hot enough.”

He’d kiss her on the mouth,
his lips burned through. Seeds
from that same chile
chosen above all others
down generations of a parched
west Texas garden:

that heart-shaped pepper hung
till it was red as Texas blood.
Just waved across the pot
it drew such piquancy to a stew
so you could hardly eat it,
so you fell in love
with hot.

Down generations
the Dawson girls
could hardly find young men
that weren’t too mild
to marry.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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