Another Note to My Dead Mother

Today we met Doug’s thirteenth girlfriend,
skinny as the rest.  She was blabbing on,

as I used to do, about what she couldn’t say
in her family.  The substitutions–

gee, fudge, heck, gosh rankled
her preacher father as they had Dad

but Doug was watching her mouth with that gaze
old Shep wore when we held a bone above his head.

Seems sucks was especially offensive,
as in that sucks–or as it seemed, she sucks him off,

though I imagine you asking later when we wash the dishes
sucks? what in tarnation is that?

as once in your sixties you asked about two women:
I don’t get it. Just what is it they do?

Other than the obvious, we are not sure, Mom,
what Doug is doing with this rawboned floozy

though we suppose in a month or two
he’ll sop up another one just as sapped.

And maybe that too sucks.


Lois Marie Harrod’s 13th and 14th poetry collections, Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press), appeared in 2013. The Only Is won the 2012 Tennessee Chapbook Contest (Poems & Plays), and Brief Term, a collection of poems about teachers and teaching, was published by Black Buzzard Press, 2011. Cosmogony won the 2010 Hazel Lipa Chapbook (Iowa State).  She is widely published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. She teaches Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey. Read her work on





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