Poems by Marian Veverka

After the Vic­tims were Buried

Every­one went back to the farm­house where
Friends and wives of neigh­bors had set out food.
At first there was just the sounds of chew­ing and
Swal­low­ing and maybe a child pip­ing up a few times -
Every­one still con­scious of the emp­ty spaces, but then
The talk got around to plant­i­ng and ethanol and what
New prob­lems lay ahead. Some of the old­er women
Got up and began to scrape small left­overs into big­ger
Dish­es and clear away the emp­ty plates and the men,
a few at a time began to wan­der out the door.

Long ago some­one had set up stakes and now George
Went into the barn and brought out horse­shoes. Which
Was fine with the women, they had all the clear­ing up to
Do and stuff to dis­cuss while they washed and put things
Away. The win­dows were open, a warm after­noon for
Ear­ly May and soon the rhyth­mic clang of met­al against
Met­al added to the scrap­ing of plates and rat­tle of sil­ver­ware.

The pall­bear­ers and almost all of the men had dressed in
dark suits and now they took off their jack­ets and rolled
Up the sleeves of their white shirts and they resem­bled
Mem­bers of a sect, per­haps reli­gious, like the Amish only
No one wore a beard. The grass and all the bush­es and
Young trees were a clear, bright green, and as the men
Moved from one stake to the oth­er, they formed a pat­tern
Of black and white on a green chess­board.

And so the men fol­lowed their pat­terns out­side and in
The kitchen the women fol­lowed the rou­tines that had
Been hand­ed down since who knew when but it was a
Com­fort, the break­ing of bread togeth­er, and the clear­ing
up after­ward, the soft voic­es and the qui­et­ing of the
chil­dren and the men find­ing some­thing active to do
with their bod­ies when every­one was faced with a sit­u­a­tion
That no one, down through all the ages, had ever been able
To make any sense of.

Explo­sion in the After­noon

Our old man can explode with anger
Over the small­est dumb thing
Like a gal­lon of milk left sit­ting on
The table
The fridge door not closed all the way
Someone’s shoes sit­ting emp­ty in
The mid­dle of the liv­ing room
And the TV still on

He’d use real cuss words
So loud the neigh­bors could hear
And scream back for him to shut
The —– up
And our baby sis­ter woke up cry­ing
And mom yelling because we woke
The baby

I’d take off run­ning through the back yard
Down by the old bridge where the train
Tracks crossed the swamp
And imag­ine myself a hobo swing­ing aboard
A slow train to Chi­na
Or any place far enough away
Where all you’d hear was the chat­ter
Of crick­ets in the tall grass

The ghost of a whis­tle from the days
The trains still ran.
There weren’t so many babies
And Mom and Dad would shut
The doors and be as qui­et as the night.

mom1Born and raised in Cleve­land OH. Attend­ed Univ. of Ken­tucky, Fenn Col­lege

Received BFA from Bowl­ing Green State Univ.

Worked in libraries for many years.

Spend a lot of time read­ing, gar­den­ing in sea­son. Inter­est­ed in nat­ur­al world,conservation of untouched places–forests, wet­lands, prairies.

Writ­ten 2 nov­els (unpub­lished). Pub­lished sev­er­al short sto­ries & many poems in lit­er­ary, small press, and local pub­li­ca­tions.

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