By Deanna Pickard
Not Poor

Cicadas are squeaking like loose wheels
on a buggy even he can hear. He tells
of their mating weeks that must last
for seventeen years. And another summer
story of locusts, when farm wives

battled with useless aprons
while the corn turned to widow’s lace
and their men were hard pressed
not to fold. The children, too, knew
nights would come to whiskeyed words,

as mothers blinked back the beaten
silences. Another truck would carry them
to another place. Thoughts of no gifts,
not even hardtack or used shoes next winter,
would hover overhead like buzzards

but since lightning bugs were torching
the trees, the heaviness in the house
would allow them to sneak out to collect
the free jewelry of those Ohio nights.

The Vincent Brothers Review, #1: Vol. VII, No. 1