October 26, 2020

Lewis Crawford

GRANDDADDY (FOR NANA)

A black, plastic comb in a plaid shirt pocket
tucked beside a pack of cigarettes
and a Harley Davidson Zippo.
That’s how I remember you. 
If you asked anybody else,
at least anyone that knew you,
what do you think they’d say?
Do you think your wife …
I mean, your ex-wife,
do you think she remembers 
that time you pressed your heel against her stomach
until the baby was hanging halfway out of her?

Or the car ride that followed
where you told her she fell,
insisted she fell,
and made her 
say it back to you
as she cupped the head of the child,
my mother,
between her legs?

Does she remember what you said when she lost
her grip and everything inside of her 
spilled into the floorboard? Don’t move
or I swear to God I’ll slam on these brakes
and send you flyin’.

from Rattle #69, Fall 2020
Tribute to Service Workers

__________

Lewis Crawford: “Growing up dirt poor in Georgia, it seems like everyone in my family has worked for either the food service or some other form of customer care. Personally, I spent six years selling cars at a dealership called Mike Bell Chevrolet where, instead of pushing two-dollar cheeseburgers, I sold used Corvettes and made small talk with the townsfolk. Though much of my work revolves around the complicated relationship I have with my grandfather and grandmother, I try to keep most of it in a simple, working-class vernacular, because that’s what I was raised on.”

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