Back Yard Dirty at Midnight Mary Elizabeth Parker

Cold pink cloud drifts above, eyelet-laced at the edges,
flattens, an amoeba spewing pink. Slouched
in a plastic chair slicked with ice, I sit in sweet
urine worm water root stink watching the roused dirty fur
of my dog (alert to what?) scratching at the crawl-space door.
I’m thrilled (peering back at my husband peering out from
the window after I’ve left him with Churchill’s favorite opera
noise blaring (oh, kill Churchill, I’d said)) that the night,
the stinking dog, are mine. After seven weeks awash in the ebb
and flow of sickness, the soil of night rain, my husband was
spat up out of it, his heart didn’t die completely and he stands
solid in the house, not like our neighbor’s husband sucked
dead by Agent Orange, not like my nephew who for nine years
has drifted skeined in a lake-caul.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 2.


Mary Elizabeth Parker’s poetry collections include The Sex Girl (Urthona Press) and two chapbooks: Breathing in a Foreign Country (Paradise Press) and That Stumbling Ritual (Coraddi Publications, University of North Carolina-Greensboro).

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