Bent Tones by C. D. Wright

Brokenglassbyebrandt78
                  

There was a dance at the black school.
In the shot houses people were busy.

A woman washed her boy in a basin, sucking
a cube of ice to get the cool.

The sun drove a man in the ground like a stake.
Before his short breath climbed the kitchen’s steps

She skipped down the walk in a clean dress.
Bad meat on the counter. In the sky, broken glass.

When the local hit the trestle everything trembled —
The trees she blew out of, the shiver owl,

Lights next door — With her fast eye
She could see Floyd Little
Changing his shirt for the umpteenth time.
 

Copyright © C. D. Wright

From Ploughshares (Fall
  1983)