my violent uncle

six years old i was running and stumbling
across the harvested cornfield to the barn
had fallen onto a perfectly sharpened dagger
a stalk that punctured my knee to the bone

my violent uncle – everyone called him
the colonel – is mad and red faced now
blood is streaming running into my shoe
i will have to be driven to town goddamit
and sewn back together again

i bleed into the rattling stubble
wishing my mom was still here
she’d blown her head off with a shotgun
a few months ago and now and now

he is bellowing get in the goddammed car
and i half crawl in hunker in the back
and disappear again into my world where
my blood has fertilized the field
and mom is being recreated in the dust

wrapped in corn leaves she is incubated
the dull earth flickers past car windows
i am trapped in a home i do not live in
until i remember she will be there tomorrow
covered with dew and given a fresh mind

his venomous epithets bounce around the glass
and they never touch me once, goddammit

the ground is cracking splitting open
the light of protection is gloriously rising

she will comfort me again at last
when i return sewn back together again

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art
20190718

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