Lois Marie Harrod 

 

Meditation on Discrimination

 

And so he says, black or gray, I shoot them. Squirrels
are squirrels. And though I want to ask why
this famous poet who eulogizes dead opposums hurled
along the road does not give similar rights to squirrels, I

do not. I remember that my dog feels the same way,
ignoring cats and birds but stalking squirrels with a high nose
and deliberate paws as if he were doing something chaste
and patriotic. I remember how an avid bird watcher disposed

of  a woodchuck, how he first fired his gun through
the bathroom window screen and when he missed
went down and hammered in its head with a garden spade.

It’s in all of us, that slip of pity for, say, that kid in school
we just can’t stand.  Here he comes: the white fang, the snarl, the clip,
the tick, that bit of life we think for good reason we have to hate.


   

The Parable of the Prodigal Daugther

And when she returned in April, her thick hair cropped
like grass above her ears, she could no longer imagine
herself walking where the table hushed and the bed
became a crazy quilt. So who would tell her what

she needed, why she had gone and where she was
the joyless one? Grandma had descended into the cellar,
slipped and frozen to the floor, and three days later when
her friends came looking, said her false teeth chattering

on the kitchen sink had kept her alive. Couldn't die
wifout fem in my mouth. Of course, that was January
and now it was snowing out of season, the trees

losing their definition like a sheet. Perhaps her father
could still find her if she slipped in like the child
who slipped outside in a snow storm and drifted away.

 

First published in The Cresset, 2013.  (copywritten)

 


Lazarus

The dead, their impossible dreams
at the center of heart or hearse
sometimes make sense of deformities—

the dwarf technician who sticks out
his foreshortened arm
when you introduce yourself,

and says, I’m Dan, and his hand, untouchable
a failed fish, rises warm and soft
as you grasp it in your own.

First published in the The Sandy River Review, 2013.  (copywritten)

 

 


Lois Marie Harrod’s 16th and most recent collection Nightmares of the Minor Poet appeared in June 2016 from Five Oaks. Her chapbook And She Took the Heart appeared in January 2016, and Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. The Only Is won the 2012 Tennessee Chapbook Contest (Poems & Plays), and Brief Term, a collection of poems about teachers and teaching was published by Black Buzzard Press, 2011. Cosmogony won the 2010 Hazel Lipa Chapbook (Iowa State). She is widely published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. She teaches Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey. Links to her online work at www.loismarieharrod.org