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Laura, Toucan Editrice

Friday, February 17, 2012

Low Card, Richard Hartwell

How's a nice long Poem of the Week sound to you all?

We're shooting for February 20th for Issue #15. We'll let you know if we don't make it. We have bad aim.

Oh, and we should tell you some stuff about Chicago Zine Fest, especially since Editrice Liz is reading at a reading or two associated with it, and is getting published in another publication to be distributed there. And Editrice Laura is making tons of the fun knit mustaches you may remember seeing us in. But more on that eventually, when our eyeballs aren't falling out of our heads.

Low Card
by Richard Hartwell

From an abused deck she cut low card,
my mother; another low point in a low life,
filled with her own abuses, my mother’s.

They were cutting cards,
my mother and her brothers,
to see who would go first,
dividing up their mother’s things,
my grandmother, my Bonnie,
after her funeral;
who would be first to get
the diamond engagement ring,
who the Revere pewter,
a china place setting for twelve,
the silver flatware, and so on.

Being the only girl and the youngest,
my mother drew first.
I don’t know what she drew,
but the “Oh damn!” signified from her
something less than satisfaction.

The three brothers, my uncles,
drew each in their respective turns
their order to dismember my Bonnie’s life,
regardless of the impact on others, on me.

Thus, the material accumulation of the
last remaining member of her generation,
my Bonnie, my grandmother, of hers,
divvied up among the four of them,
her children, my uncles and my mother.

As for her share, my mother’s?
Dealt out to others over years,
sold and traded, piece by piece,
acquiring other trinkets;
valued at greater immediacy,
but of far less reminiscence,
until nothing was left of either
generation, hers or her mother’s.

As for me? I hold the better hand,
a hand filled with recollections,
a grand slam of memories,
both the good and the bad.

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