Bareback / “Velvet” Sharon McKenzie

My father broke horses

cleared wombs

pulled calves

 

Never-ending breeds to birch

tied to the tailgate of a ‘57 Chevy

bit busted

they bucked him from their saddle

not me

not my mother

 

Mares

shoved under

stallions

their hooves carved his lover’s name

in mounds of shit

 

While mother shoveled stalls

a hundred times

never clean

enough

 

They’d drop

bile, blood, and grass

on her roses

until they grew, tall

robust

mad blooms

 

Pinkyellowpurplewhite

her American garden

the triumph of suburbia

drew wind

and blew

the scent of foreign women

into our neighbor’s yard

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