Ben Paynter

Veteran Poet - 1,841 Points (Midwest)

Mother, This Graveyard - Poem by Ben Paynter

hip bone high I’d water mum’s flowers
when days ended in little shadows
and picket fences held all the world
at bay

wet e’m good but don’t drown e’m
she’d yell, the porch stoop looked down
white steps, white house, half a whiskey
barrel holding a sunflower

next night same thing, the next as well
as it goes, I grew, but not away from
words spoken to a small boy, words
hummed to rafters for lullabies

this is not what I wanted to be
I feel coal, soot on bare feet, I trace
footprints away from those nights
ten black toes on white steps

don’t drown me mum, I will never be
anything I want to be, tried that, ended
up here, dry as a desert, brown as
sun baked clay

your promises I watered
found them to be plastic flowers
in front of gravestones

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Comments about Mother, This Graveyard by Ben Paynter

  • (6/1/2007 1:19:00 AM)

    The opening stanza is fabulous - a Dylan Thomasesque reverie. Well written. Rgds, Ivan (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 31, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, March 5, 2011


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