Rachel Marie Patterson
Father minded the lawn as if it were a baby,
his hair early white and plastered to his temples.
See his brown yard-shoes and the boxy mower with its
cryptic signature, the birds cutting away above him,
his prescription aviators and their wormy string around
his neck. Once, he ran over a nest of rabbits and wept.
That was before the attic ladder slipped out from under
him and he hit the cement floor, blood haloing from
his head. I screamed so loud and long that Mother
thought I had been closed in the garage-door.
That grass shone like glass, it gleamed. If we walked
through the front lawn in our sneakers, he’d threaten
to smack the teeth right out of our mouths.
Rachel Marie Patterson is the founding co-editor of Four Way Review. Her chapbook, If I Am Burning, was released by Main Street Rag in 2011. She holds an M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is now a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Missouri. A recipient of a 2012 Academy of American Poets Prize, her recent poems appear in Nashville Review, storySouth, Redivider, Fugue, The Greensboro Review, and others. She lives and works in Philadelphia with her partner, the fiction writer Wallace Wilson.
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