Daze After Christmas, Wilmington, NC 2008


                          The Day After Christmas, Wilmington, N.C. 2008

                                                                          By Linda Kendall-Hagan

Our house sits on the corner of Fifth and Dock

Outside my door it’s the 1930’s

I deck the porch with the extra holly and garland I lifted from the Weiss garbage pail

I tie blue crinoline bows and think how they hung uppity blacks on the trees here

Thoughts and tying ribbon drives my heart

Beating hard

The rope around his neck tied too tight

One black man hung all night three years ago from the Fifth St. Bridge

His Vincent Van Gogh shoes dangling above the white sand in the railroad tracks below

Widening my nostrils heavy horse breathing-like

I can still smell the ashes of Tara drifting over the Great Dismal Swamp to rest on the buttoniers

bobbing on the lapels of the white boys at the Azalea Festival

Daytime, our steam sauna-laden backyard-air twinkling in the mist

Year of hours pass awakening  the dawn of night

Broken by the streetlights in the mist, their light-streaming tentacles sharp as machetes lop off the thick southern evening just as  the machetes once lopped off black limbs right on the corner where our house sits

Right where one-eyed Simon sits

begging every Sunday for a quarter or an extra hush puppy

Our backyard  is stuffed with the kind of 1960 Volkswagen bus I always wanted

 to pull a Michigan-Sedona-Haight-Ashbury sleep fest after smoking san-simeon in the mid-day sun

I dreamed of painting it with orange and blue paisleys being fucked by smiling dolphins with pretty pink bellies

their penises standing straight up poking through little rainbow stars.

And then there’s dented old SUV 

Dr. Tom Smithers sleeps with his dirty-sweatband fishing hat on to cover his eyes from the flashing dew teeth hanging from the Spanish moss

his wife locks the door if he comes home too late from the Barbary Coast   downtown saloon.

After hurricanes copperheads and rat snakes slither through the corn fields,

Their five hearts pumping like the ignorance in Wilmington

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