tagNon-Erotic PoetryNo one taught you how to lay concrete

No one taught you how to lay concrete


But from the hayloft
you and sticky-eyed kittens
watched father pull the hoe
across the lime-crusted wheelbarrow.
You told Mom it was like gravy
in a mashed potato dam.

From Nana’s porch
you saw the gears catch Allen’s fingers.
Held wet washcloths for the blood.
Held wet washcloths over kitten’s eyes
softened crust, drained the puss.

You wiped counters.

The women said,
This is how we fix a broken cake
with icing, use the knife
to even ridges, scrape powder
from the side of the bowl.

Today you do not call for help.
I watch you fill holes,
patch cracks in the steps
that lead to your house.
You scrape excess cement
with the edge of your trowel,
pull it smooth before
before preparing chicken
for the evening meal.

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