Sentiments of Hallmark Fraud

Two poems
by Kristine Brown
Thoughts at Thanksgiving Dinner, Circa 2008
“Do what you hate,”
he chuckled sourly,
not amused, detached,
a bridge with gaps.
so there, I stood, wondering how,
and if, to mend my wrongs.
I do remember, nine years back,
the dad, so drained, a toxin –
you told me this, to do my best
but when you slapped me ‘cross the face,
I think, perhaps my greatest sin
was doing what I had loved.
But this that attracts
the fledgling spark,
or smiles which lack the True Duchenne,
meant no ill in any I’ve planned.
Always, you’ve disapproved.
So there, I formulate a thought
that warrants time for Hallmark fraud –
though ultimate, these sentiments
bleed, through linens frayed.
This Side of Town
Like grains of sad rice,
they quiver under stoplights
awaiting relief
from uncertainty’s pursuit
and famished kittens’ mewing.
A stop sign punctured
and pieces of glass withdraw
into black concrete,
leaving feet prey to illness,
deceiving tires of Audis.
She screams to her boy
that “Here, we do not scavenge,”
syringes plenty,
particles that seep into an unknown,
defective immunity.
The dogs, they wander
while cars refuse to slow down
and more people scream, “Stop!”
then shudder, faces crinkled –
a wish list blotted, faded ink.
I said to myself
two summers ago, waiting,
that I should have left,
and while I’m not quite steady,
composure is not a dream.
Kristine Brown is a freelance writer and editor who focuses on nostalgia and sensory detail in her work. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Thought Catalog, Dulcet Quarterly, Rambutan Literary, Burningword Literary Journal, Forage Poetry, among others. In late January 2017, her first collection of flash stories and poetry, Scraped Knees, was released by Ugly Sapling Press.
Twitter: @CPCranes

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Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, and books can be found. He is a Best of the Net and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Scott's poetry books include: Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015), Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016), Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016), and Poison in Paradise (Alien Buddha Press, 2017). Scott is a member of The Southern Collective Experience; he also serves as an editor for Walking Is Still Honest Press, The Blue Mountain Review, The Peregrine Muse, and Novelmasters.

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