I’d like to introduce you to another poet friend of mine. Her name is Amber Haines. She has 4 sons, a guitar-playing husband, her blog – theRunaMuck, and rare friends. She loves the funky, the narrative, and the dirty South. Amber is curator with her husband Seth Haines of Mother Letters and a contributor at (In)courage and A Deeper Church. Her degree is in English/Creative Writing, and she has persevered through half an MFA in Poetry at The University Of Arkansas before birthing 3 boys in 3 years. There have been no signs pointing back to those workshops, so she feels perpetually unfinished, and yet the study is somehow better now. Oh, and I have it on good authority that Amber is working on a book right now; she told me so.
Amber, these words are beautiful, and your nod to red-eye gravy bolsters my grit for the day ahead. Thank you.
Cursed be the woman from whom all these beautiful thingsCursed be the woman from whom all these beautiful things would come, the grandmother who expected little from the world but plants in pot, song of only daughter, and the wild nature of boys in a house with no underpinning, chicken scraps along the edge. My eyes cry onions to think of hot kitchen, talks about Methodists and Sabbath while her crooked-finger boys come in no knock because its home. We all dip the silent ladle in the tapped well, bottom of which is center of earth. There was everything dirty and iron, hands wiped black on overall bibs, five men born straight from Adam with war in their hearts. Hair in the wire, hide on barn wall, blacksmith fire, ancient parts bent thin to keep fit. This is the red-eye gravyed god, the farm in its smoldering work. On her death, she moaned, eyes scrolled back, all turning a morphined gold, she saw glory come, and I nearly dropped a transmission between here and there learning to drive a stick on a borrowed car; “in case of rapture, car will be unmanned.” I didn’t want her to leave me, friend of earth and needles and mine. I went for mending one last time and watched her mouth prayers for sons, turn a breathless black-haired child, then run wild into inner court of tiger lilies. Years later now, brothers satisfy her prayer and hold each other in the side yard, sister gone.
Veil thin as sheets on a line. See her blessed ghost cry.