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K.C. Bosch: Four Poems

 

Bierstadt Sky

Snow squall dumping
Its crop on the valley
Extra dry rations
for my fur-coated kids.
Luck will get me home in a day
making good on a promise.
Bourbon and coffee should
last until dawn.

Driving the fast changing,
landscape of west West Virginia.
the dark eastern ridge
mean, windy and cold.
Watching light melt from
pink muted clouds shrouded in dusk.
Sun making a feeble run at a sunset
but never quite able to
push anyone around.
Gray has the upper hand and
daylight is down for the count

**

Hidden Poverty

A house big enough to hold us
looks impressive but it’s hard not
to want, being just one of many.
Meals that would feed a few
for a week were divided
to each by their birth order.
Love was around but not where
expected, sibs filled in
blanks left by overbooked
parents. The shine
dulls fast on a toddler
when an infant is wailing.
Dressed and lined up for church
looking so accomplished,
but the swearing that got us there
would sour any feast.

**

The Harbor Inn

Ken Stop, check it out, we need to have at least one in here.
The Harbor Inn. A place so small we would have missed it
if not for the drunken sailors by the door.
Happy hour 9 till 11 AM,
No food but Angel will order it in.
We weren’t having food but we were in luck, Angel was working the Bar.
Ice cold beer, no bottles just cans.
Ordering a round we find it the cheapest place yet,
of stop number six or seven, I think.
Angel was funny and friendly
in a “don’t fuck with me way”
The sign behind her said it all,
“I’m not fluent in Idiot, so please speak slowly”.
She tells us that this is the oldest bar in Ocean City!
Ken talking up the regulars gets one to take our photo with Angel.
It took some doing as “Danny”
was trying to get us and bar signs all in the shot.
I’m “talking” actually listening to Mrs. Bee
as she tells me about the great flood.
Barksdale the cat drowned.
Barks would have been happy to live
as long as the story of his demise.
One beer became several,
then we head off, lots more bars to see.
The drunks are still hanging out on the porch,
can’t stay inside if you can’t afford a beer.
We find ourselves at the Inlet Bar and Grille
Laughing and talking with Tammy and Jenny
The conversation screeches to a stop
when they hear where we had been.
You went into the “Bloody Bucket”
people get killed there all the time!
That is the local name for the place.
Still not believing till they see the photo of us and Angel.
They have never been there but know all the stories.
We had and survived unscathed.
The worst injury for us this day involved Vodka,
at the Mug and Mullet (or mallet) and not till much later…

**

My Father’s Frying Pan

I never asked him: do you
respect me? Do I make you proud?

He could answer any question
like he was still wearing

his orange flight suit
with a slide rule in a leg pouch.

He was my map,
a chart he never had.

I’m still trying to find my way
as the onions sizzle

and I chop peppers.
Tears have smeared the ink.

I held him in my hands;
I carried him around.

He didn’t weigh much
more than his frying pan.

Functional not fancy,
straightforward, indestructible:

seasoned and aged a
thousand meals black.


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