Wilfred, poem by Sandra Giedeman

He was proud of his blue tick hounds, his

six­ty acres of hills, hol­lows, creeks filled

with cop­per­heads and cot­ton­mouths;

nights utter­ly still except when a smell or sound

riled the hounds from their sleep

to bay like old mourn­ers.

 

My uncle read aloud Sun­day morn­ings

from the Book of Job in a nasal voice,

about hat­ing the night and wait­ing for day

only to find in the day that one wished for night,

about how we are here for a flick­er of time

then reflect­ed in no one’s eye.

 

My aunt had the cus­tom of hill peo­ple of keep­ing

framed pho­tographs of dead rel­a­tives in their coffins.

When my uncle died she got rid of his hounds, his

jew’s harp, said she was through with men

and their ways, but she kept his death pho­to dis­played

on a lace doily in her liv­ing room.

 

headshots 002San­dra Giede­man grew up in St. Louis and moved to Cal­i­for­nia in her ‘20s. She’s been pub­lished in var­i­ous lit­er­ary jour­nals and was award­ed the Mud­fish Annu­al Poet­ry Prize by Charles Sim­ic.  She was own­er of Upchurch-Brown Book­sellers in Lagu­na Beach and past pres­i­dent of the Orange Coun­ty Chap­ter of PEN. She worked as edi­tor of var­i­ous trade mag­a­zines. She lives in San Clemente, Cal­i­for­nia with her hus­band.

 

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