|Apr/May 2015 Poetry
Photograph by Rus Bowden
I am about six and from the front seat
Grandfather is yelling in Italian, which I don't understand
so it might as well be the priest's Latin prayer,
which I don't pay attention to either.
Speaking of which,
Grandmother is listening
to the rosary on cassette, Hail Marys under her breath,
and a cigarette burning in her bean bag ashtray.
Stubborn brat, mortal sin, bargain basement.
These are her favorite phrases.
Praying seems something designed
only to keep you up at night,
or like drinking orange juice with pulp,
something to be endured
and even by this age, I have learned to tune it out.
I know Grandfather isn't praying to Saint Christopher,
the patron saint of motorists, and she tells him
to shut his face, as the tape turns over again
like an insomniac.
I watch a green plastic rosary tangle around,
and dislike their God, angry as I am angry.
I sulk in the backseat but say nothing
as I am not to be heard. I hear this over and over
and, God, some nights I don't say anything at all.