By G. Louis Heath
This Is Where You Are From
I drive the backroad blacktop, corrugated
With zebra stripes, the sun slants through
The pines. Eerie, alone, a hawk hovers,
Dancing attendance on me to pass roadkill,
Warm on the asphalt. Soon I fetch up hard
(This is all very hard) at a splintered cabin
Sagging into dusty hardpan. Rusting filigree
Of an ancient pickup on cinder blocks eyes
Me warily with a shard of glass that glares
In the fading rays. Memory’s sentinel, with
Broken tailgate, ambivalent to the woods, it
Does not forget. This is where you are from.
A sparkling cosmos of off-white and gray
Dust swirled from the rubble through the
Afternoon slanting light. A mother and
Child shimmered forth from the bombed-
Out village, otherworldly mirage to the
Rescuers’ disbelieving eyes. A fist of fire
And steel had laid waste their home and
All their family save gaunt mother and son.
Their faces bore a grimy, ghastly cake of
Fathomless despair at the ground-zero of
Their living room blasted of living. The
Mother’s eyes pled for water as they drew
Near. And the little boy clung to his big
Jar of marbles in arms streaked with blood.
Rescuers could see the marbles tremble.
G. Louis Heath, Ph.D., Berkeley, 1969, is Emeritus Professor, Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa. He enjoys reading his poems at open mics. He has published poems in a wide array of journals. His books include Leaves Of Maple and Long Dark River Casino. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org