My mother fills paper
boats with pastel mints,
juice glasses with bourbon.
The room shimmers with lit
cigarettes. We watch
the perfumed players sneak
peeks at other hands, bet
and bluff . Out back my father
beats hedges with rusted shears,
says god damn shit ass.
Glasses empty. My brother
puts frozen peas on his bruises.
My mother hums in her new
blue party dress. Ladies praise
her close-to-perfect white cake.
From Hunger Mountain Issue 23: Silence & Power, which you can purchase here.
Art by @anna_croc01, curated by Dana Lyons.
Tina Carlson is a poet and a psychiatric healthcare provider. Her poems have appeared in many journals and blogs. She was featured in the 2017 Nov/Dec Poets & Writers ‘5 over 50.’ Her book GROUND, WIND, THIS BODY (UNM Press) was published in March 2017. She recently completed a collaborative manuscript called WE ARE MEANT TO CARRY WATER with Katherine DiBella Seluja and Stella Reed which will be published by 3: A Taos Press.