“Lost” by Jennifer Blair

Thistle dead in the ditch
no one down the road for days
not the mail or tax man or turnip
peddler. Even the battleship skirt
woman with the mole on her neck
who wanted to scare Jesus into my
heart paused at the forest’s mouth
figuring the elect would be saved
damned damned and that was that,
buzzards perched backs hunched
down in the hollow turning her
sudden Calvinist, what could she do,
so she stuck her good news in her
onion sack and trotted right back
to the sweet blue valley and yellow
house which offered her bed and
a supper of roast and glazed carrot.
Scare Jesus into my festering
heart was what she did plan with
preaching, hollering and probably
a high pitched long winded pestering
but that don’t make only son stay
put and it’s useless too with God
roving my head for years now,
carving keys, looking for shoes,
setting a cracked and empty hand
cream jar on the windowsill—
then standing and still sanding there
innocent idiot expecting water
to appear til I wake him again.

Jennifer Blair teaches at the University of Georgia. Her work has been published in Copper Nickel, New South, Barely South Review, Kestrel, James Dickey Review, and Segue, among others. She is also the author of a chapbook, All Things are Ordered, from Finishing Line Press.