My Mom’s Trip(s) to the City Jail
Can you see the future
like you feel the wind
in your hair-sprayed perm
and under your young knees,
pedaling your bike through
a red Memphis evening
because brother Kenny stole another go-kart?
When you pass the 32nd pothole from the trailer park
across from Pop’s “pretty good” liquor store,
do you envision log cabin countrysides,
or have you always known about
the cigarette college fund?
Braking at the crosswalk,
do you peer over your padded shoulders,
or do you focus on the possibility of baby powder
in the dry flowers by the bus stop?
Did you know
you’d find your mother years later
in the bathtub – a martyr for watercolors –
and did you know you’d say to me,
“Take whatever you want.
You can have it.”
Photography by Sumner McMurtry