March 12, 2013

Janice D. Soderling

REAL MEN DON’T TAKE NO SHIT FROM NOBODY

White man
Black man
Yellow man
Grief.

Doctor
Farmer
Soldier
Chief.

Hittin’
Spittin’
Cussin’
Hard.

Bury
Their wives
In the cold
Graveyard.

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012

__________

Janice D. Soderling: “Unless they have been sanitized, nursery rhymes have a dark edge. The cradle will fall; the cupboard was bare; she had so many children, she didn’t know what to do. I overheard someone claim wife-battering was a class and ethical issue. I’ve worked at a shelter and know better. The old rhyme ‘Rich man, poor man’ popped into my mind and I heard the trochaic punches: POW and POW and POW and the metrical change of the finale, the spondee closure—graveyard. It writ itself; I just got it down on paper.”