Just thinking about the time we drove to Athens.
It was during an afternoon thunderstorm, it just broke
and his foot wouldn't let loose, no not one bit, not even for me.
While I breast fed the baby, his friend popped the tops
of two cold ones and toasted. Wheels hydroplaning, he steered
right into that storm with only two fingers
but once wind began taking the car farther
he pulled under the roof of that white filling-station.
Rain flooded the while marble drive where I got out. Inside,
that that rickety store flies buzzed, caught
between torn screens and broken glass, when I noticed
a young woman with a child.
Baby on her hip, she walked over to that coke-cola bin
and after inserting coins, and pulling up that dripping green
bottle she gently moved that cool glass across his little forehead,
and he smiled.
She then lay the broad part of the barrel against her chest, over that new welt
now darkening and then, that man — busting through, again–cut right in front of her.
His skin looked ruddy, and he stank of stale cigarettes. Clearing the back of his throat, he hoisted a
case of beer on the counter and turned back, looking at that woman and child,
and they would become so quiet, like they weren't even there.
And looking back, I know now, that was the day we left Athens.
Slee is a mother of three, married to a writer, and lives in the Midwest where she was born. While in the Anthropology Program at Washington University, St. Louis, she switched gears and took a right turn into the Creative Writing Program, receiving a Certificate in Poetry. Her poems, plays and stories about "The Appalachia" are rich with image and based from her own knowledge and observations while having been a child, having a child in Southern Appalachia. Her poems: The Cahokian, Eliot in View, Eliot Review.