Volume 16:1, Winter 2015
The Sonnet Issue
my exs name crops up common as crab grass
campaign volunteer with gnawed pen and clipboard,
checkout clerk, church guest who plops on the pew
reeking of garlic, guilt, even a teen hawking tacos.
Each time my lips shut two seconds too long,
as if my brain must crank each letter into place
on a punch-wheel label-maker before I can smack it
onto this new person, then take the pen, say plastic
or hello, bite down. Like those yellow jackets
squatting in the mailbox. Twice, I sprayed the nest
but after a days rest, they erupted again
twenty just-woke drunks mean on rotgut.
Third time, Raid can drained to a rattle. That night,
letters chucked on the stoop, postmans scrawl: bees back.
Wendy DeGroat is a poet, librarian, and teacher who curates poetryriver.org, a resource site for documentary poetry and diverse voices in contemporary American poetry. She teaches creative writing workshops and writes articles that encourage inclusion of contemporary poetry in classrooms and libraries. Her poems have appeared in Sprout, About Place, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, Mslexia, and Raleigh Review. She lives in Richmond, VA.